NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – Niagara University men’s basketball head coach Patrick Beilein has announced his coaching staff. Greg Paulus, Bryan Smothers and Brett Ervin will join the staff as assistant coaches, while Madison Hahesy will serve as the director of basketball operations.
“When I began my coaching staff search, I had a clear vision of where I want this program to go and how I would like to complete my coaching staff. We have exceeded our expectations,” Beilein said. “We have put together one of the best young staffs in the country who will work to advance Niagara Basketball every day and pursue excellence in every way.”
Greg Paulus, a former Gatorade National High School Player of the Year and Duke basketball standout, joins Niagara as an assistant coach after stops on the coaching staffs at George Washington, Louisville, Ohio State and Navy.
“I am thrilled to be back home in New York State joining Coach Patrick Beilein’s staff at Niagara University,” Paulus said. “I’ve known Coach Beilein throughout the years. He is an outstanding leader, coach and proven winner. I am looking forward to being a part of a terrific staff, passionate community and creating a culture of development for our student-athletes to be successful on and off the court.”
Paulus was on the staff at George Washington for the 2018-19 season and spent the 2017-18 season at Louisville where he helped the Cardinals to an NIT Quarterfinals appearance.
He was an assistant coach for four seasons at Ohio State (2013-17) after serving as the program’s video coordinator for two years (2011-13). During six years on the staff there, Paulus served as both offensive and defensive coordinator as Ohio State produced a 147-66 record and participated in the NCAA Tournament on four occasions, including playing in two NCAA Regional Finals and reaching the 2012 Final Four.
Paulus helped the Buckeyes sign top-10 recruiting classes in 2014 and 2015 and was recognized by college basketball national reporter Jeff Goodman as one of the nation’s top assistant coaches in 2015. Paulus began his coaching career as an assistant coach at the Naval Academy (2010-11).
Paulus had a successful four-year playing career at Duke (2005-09). A three-year starter and two-time captain for Duke, he played on three ACC Championship teams and four NCAA Tournament teams, helping Duke to a combined 112-28 record while leading the team in assists in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
As a freshman in 2006, Paulus was a member of the ACC All-Freshman First Team, the ACC All-Tournament Second Team and a second-team freshman All-American while averaging 6.7 points and 5.2 assists. He is one of just four freshmen in ACC history to lead the league in assists. He scored 1,193 career points at Duke and ranks among the career top 10 in assists (468), three-point field goals (210) and three-point field goal percentage (.398).
Paulus spent the 2009-10 season at Syracuse as a graduate student transfer on the football team where he was the starting quarterback and captain. He passed for 2,024 yards and 13 touchdowns in 12 games. His 67.7 completion percentage (193-of-285) is a Syracuse single-season record.
A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Paulus earned ACC All-Academic Team accolades on three occasions and was a two-time Academic All-American Third Team selection. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science with a certificate in markets and management studies in 2009.
He earned a master’s degree in Television, Radio and Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse in 2010, earning 2009 Big East All-Academic Team honors.
Paulus was named the Gatorade High School Football Player of the Year (2004) and the Gatorade High School Male Athlete of the Year (2005) at Christian Brothers Academy. Other recipients of the Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year award are LeBron James (2003), Dwight Howard (2004), Kevin Love (2006), Matt Barkely (2008) and Kyler Murray (2015).
Bryan Smothers spent five seasons (2014-19) with the University of Michigan men’s basketball program. He was a graduate manager from 2014-16 before being hired as the program’s video analyst from 2016-19.
“I am honored to be a part of the Niagara community,” Smothers said. “My family and I are grateful for Father Maher and Simon Gray for their support, and head coach Patrick Beilein for the opportunity to be here. Since being on campus, I can tell there is a genuine excitement by students, staff and alumni about the new direction of Niagara basketball. Our players are working hard and are doing a great job of buying in to our culture and system. We are excited about what the future holds here at NU.”
Smothers directed all aspects of U-M’s video program, including opponent scout preparation, player development videos, recruit film evaluations and analytics. He supervised the Team Blue managerial program as well as other general office duties.
During his time with the Wolverines, he was a part of four straight NCAA Tournament teams including the 2018 national runner-up.
Prior to joining the Wolverine staff, he was a student assistant coach at Wayne State from 2011-13. He assisted with film breakdown, recruiting, day-to-day practice operations and served as the study table coordinator. During the 2013-14 season, he was elevated to the graduate assistant for the program.
Before joining the Wayne State staff, he was a four-year letterwinner (2007-11) for the Wayne State Warriors. As a senior, he was selected to the Daktronics All-Midwest Region Second Team and the NABC All-Midwest Region Second Team as well as voted to the All-GLIAC South Division First Team and the South Division All-Defensive Team.
During his career he played in 101 career games and became only the second player in Wayne State history to record 1,100 points, 300 assists and 300 rebounds. He finished 10th in school history with 1,175 career points. He also ranks second in both career free throw percentage (85.4 percent) and minutes played (3,249; 32.1 career average).
A native of Pontiac, Mich., he prepped at Pontiac Northern High School from 2004-07 where he played three years on the varsity basketball team and was voted captain his senior season.
Smothers was selected to the 2019 Under Armour 30-Under-30 Team, which represents 30 of the most outstanding men’s college basketball coaches under the age of 30, on April 16, 2019.
Smothers graduated from Wayne State with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2011 and completed his masters of social work from the University of Michigan in 2016. He and his wife, Sandy (Abaunza), have two children, Santana and Sebastian.
Brett Ervin spent three seasons on the coaching staff at Le Moyne and had a successful season as the lead assistant coach at West Liberty University.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Ervin said. “Coach Beilein is a mentor of mine and somebody I enjoy learning from every single day. I am looking forward to helping turn this program around and doing something special. There is a buzz around campus and there are a lot of people in the community that want Niagara basketball to succeed. We are going to do things the right way and bring good kids in, both on the floor and in the community.”
Ervin served as a graduate assistant from 2015-17, where he assisted with practice plans, on-court instruction, recruiting and scouting. He also organized team travel, film exchange and individual skill instruction and monitored student-athlete academic progress. The 2016-17 team won the Northeast-10 Conference Southwest Division championship for the first time in the program’s history and earned the top seed in the East Region of the NCAA Championships.
Ervin was the lead assistant coach for the West Liberty University Hilltoppers, an NCAA Division II program in West Virginia, for the 2017-18 season where he was responsible for all aspects of the operations of the program.
Ervin helped guide the Hilltoppers to a 26-4 record, the Mountain East Conference regular season title and the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Championships Atlantic Region. West Liberty led the nation in scoring (105.2 ppg.), turnover margin (+8.0/game), assists (20.8/game) and assist/turnover ratio (+1.98), while ranking among the top-five nationally in 12 statistical categories.
In April 2018, he was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ 2017-18 Under Armour 30-Under-30 honor roll, which recognizes up-and-coming coaches in men’s college basketball under the age of 30.
Ervin played his first three seasons of collegiate basketball at Elon University, an NCAA Division I program in Elon, North Carolina. He completed his career playing for Beilein at West Virginia Wesleyan University in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Ervin averaged 12.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, while connecting on 92 three-pointers, the second-most in the Mountain East Conference and the 13th-most in Division II, en route to a 20-12 record.
A native of West Virginia, Ervin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from West Virginia Wesleyan in 2014, a master’s degree in sports management from West Virginia University in August 2016 and an MBA from Le Moyne in December 2017.
Madison Hahesy brings collegiate administrative and coaching experience to the program.
“I’m so grateful to Coach Beilein for the opportunity to work with the young men of Niagara Basketball,” Hahesy said. “College athletics prepare young men and women to impact lives. I’m really excited to bring my experience in coaching and athletics administration not only to help rebuild this program, but also to help prepare our young men for that lifetime of impact.”
Hahesy spent the 2018-19 season as an administrative fellow at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she worked with the executive administration staff on projects and initiatives in compliance, communications, business operations, event management and student-athlete development. Hahesy also managed budgets, planned meetings, coordinated the drug testing program, established an internal communication strategy for the athletic staff and helped grow UNC’s sport psychology resources, amongst other duties.
Prior to joining UNC, Hahesy spent the 2017-18 season in the NCAA Postgraduate Internship Program in Academic and Membership Affairs. She was on the Division II Education Subcommittee to create curriculum and organize the 2018 Regional Compliance and Regional Rules seminars. She planned and presented the NCAA Convention for Division II National SAAC, Management Council, President’s Council and NCAA Provisional Members. She processed interpretation requests, academic waivers and legislative relief for Division I and II institutions. Hahesy also served as a staff liaison for the Academic Requirements Committee, Membership Committee, Committee for Legislative Relief, Division II SAAC and Conference Commissioners Association of Compliance Administrators.
She spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for the Le Moyne College women’s basketball team from 2015-17. Hahesy managed the budget, scouted opponents, served as the academic advisor and managed the team’s social media accounts.
A native of Erie, Pa., Hahesy was a four-time letterwinner on the women’s basketball team at Le Moyne College from 2011-15. Hahesy earned two degrees from Le Moyne College – Bachelor of Arts in English in 2015 and an MBA in 2017.
Feature Image Courtesy of Niagara University Athletics