May 26, 2016
THE FLATS – Former Georgia Tech player Mario West has joined the Georgia Tech men’s basketball staff as director of player personnel, completing new head coach Josh Pastner’s support staff.
This week, Pastner hired West and also named Dan Taylor, former Siena head strength and conditioning coach, as the program’s player development coach. Earlier, Pastner named former Memphis staff members Julian Swartz as director of operations and Tyler Benson as director of video.
“I’m very happy that our full staff is now complete,” said Pastner. “I believe we have a tremendous group of people on our staff, all of whom have high energy, excellent backgrounds, and will give the very best support to our program in all the different areas.”
Mario West – Director of Player Personnel
A veteran of four years in American professional basketball and five seasons overseas, West will serve as the basketball staff’s liaison with academic services, campus housing and dining, media and marketing, as well as spearhead outreach to former Tech players. West is the second former Tech player to join Pastner’s staff, joining assistant coach Darryl LaBarrie.
The native of Douglas, Ga., came to Tech as a non-scholarship player and played on three NCAA Tournament teams, including the Tech team that played for the national championship in 2004. A 6-5 guard, West was an undrafted free agent signee of the Atlanta Hawks after his Tech career and played three seasons for the team, then spent part of the 2010-11 season with the New Jersey Nets. He played a total of 162 NBA games, and also played 53 games over two seasons with the Maine Red Claws in the NBA Developmental League. Following that, he played five years overseas in six different countries. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Tech in 2007.
Dan Taylor – Player Development Coach
Taylor joins the Georgia Tech staff as player development coach for men’s basketball following a nine-year term as the head strength and conditioning coach at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. Taylor will coordinate and implement the player development program for the Yellow Jackets’ men’s basketball and men’s tennis teams. At Siena, he oversaw the strength and conditioning efforts for all of Siena’s Division I varsity programs and over 350 student-athletes from September, 2006, to the present, promoted to the position after joining the Siena staff as an assistant strength coach.
Taylor graduated cum laude from Franklin Pierce College in 2002, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree. In 2006, Taylor received his masters of science in exercise science and performance enhancement from the California University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude, and completed his second masters of science in exercise science with a focus in strength and conditioning from Edith Cowan University based in Perth, Western Australia in 2011. He is currently working toward a doctorate degree in performance psychology at Grand Canyon University.
Julian Swartz – Director of Operations
An eight-year veteran of NCAA Division I men’s basketball, Swartz comes to Tech after four years with Pastner at Memphis, where he served as assistant director of operations, director of player development and interim assistant coach. Swartz’s role on Pastner’s staff at Tech will include serving as the staff liaison with compliance, coordinating on-campus recruiting operations, team travel, community service activities and summer camps.
Prior to Memphis, Swartz spent three years as a graduate assistant at Marquette (2005-08) with head coach Tom Crean and one as an intern at Indiana (2008). Among his duties at Marquette were assisting in the areas of video, scouting reports, statistics, student-athletes’ academic progress, on-campus recruiting visits and coordinating summer camps. From 2009-12, he served as a counselor in the West Allis/West Milwaukee school district, counseling kids and teaching character education, while also serving as an assistant coach for the Waukesha South High School varsity hoops squad (2003-05, 2009-11) along with coaching youth basketball (2009-12). A native of Waukesha, Wis., Swartz graduated from Carroll College in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He earned his master’s degree in school counseling in 2008 from Marquette.
Tyler Benson – Director of Video
Benson spent two seasons at Memphis as the Tigers’ video coordinator under Pastner, overseeing the basketball video department, including the Tigers’ newly-redesigned, high-tech video room, broke down tape to assist the coaching staff in its scouting and kept the program’s video and computer equipment up-to-date. Benson moved into that position after one year (2013-14) as a graduate manager at Ole Miss. Prior to that, Benson was a coach for four seasons, first as an assistant coach at West Virginia Wesleyan (2009-10) and then for three years at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (2010-13) in Delafield, Wis.
A native of Morgantown, W.Va., Benson earned four letters playing basketball at St. Bonaventure, serving as the Bonnies’ team captain as a senior, and graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration/management sciences.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB).