Bryan Hodgson Named A-State Men’s Basketball Head Coach
JONESBORO, Ark. (3/22/23) – Bryan Hodgson, regarded as one of the top recruiters and assistant coaches in the nation with 15-plus seasons as a collegiate coach, has been hired as head coach of the Arkansas State men's basketball program, Vice Chancellor of Intercollegiate Athletics Jeff Purinton announced Wednesday.
Hodgson comes to Arkansas State after spending the last four seasons at the University of Alabama, which followed stops at the University of Buffalo (2015-19), Midland (Texas) Junior College (2013-15), Jamestown (NY) Community College (2010-13) and Fredonia State (NY) University (2007-10). He becomes the 17th head coach in program history.
"Following a national search, which attracted many highly-qualified candidates across the country, we are excited to announce Bryan Hodgson as our head men's basketball coach," said Purinton. "We visited with a variety of outstanding coaches from multiple levels, but we ultimately identified Bryan as the perfect fit for our program and community.
"He possesses well-rounded experience with a successful coaching and recruiting background. Bryan has also been very involved with all operational aspects of collegiate programs while working his way from a junior college coach to the highest level of Division I. I had the opportunity to work with him at Alabama and get to know him as a coach and person. He is a strong communicator who cares deeply about his student-athletes and puts them in the best position to succeed on the court and in the classroom.
"He has a great vision for Arkansas State basketball and the blueprint to carry it out in order to elevate our program to new heights. I'm confident he will build a winning culture, and we look forward to his leadership as our head men's basketball coach."
An introductory press conference open to the public will be held early next week on a day to be announced at a later time. The press conference will be held in the Centennial Bank Athletics Operations Center, located in the north end zone of Centennial Bank Stadium, and be streamed live on the Arkansas State Athletics Facebook page (/AStateRedWolves). The press conference will also be carried live on The Ticket Radio Network (95.3 FM, 96.9 FM and 970 AM in Jonesboro and 104.1 FM in Clarendon).
Recently rated as the No. 2 recruiter nationally by 247Sports.com, Hodgson played a vital role in recruiting top-15 classes each of the last four seasons in Tuscaloosa. Alabama, the overall No. 1 seed this season, has posted a 92-41 record, advancing to the Sweet 16 twice in three-straight appearances at the NCAA Tournament since Hodgson joined head coach Nate Oats in Tuscaloosa. In total, Hodgson brings 15-plus seasons of collegiate coaching experience to Jonesboro, including six of the last seven NCAA Tournaments and a combined 15-2 record in Division I conference tournaments.
"I am both thrilled and honored to be the head men's basketball coach at Arkansas State," said Hodgson. "I want to thank Jeff Purinton, Dr. (Chuck) Welch and Dr. (Todd) Shields for this fantastic opportunity and entrusting me to lead this program.
"I'm looking forward to working with the outstanding administration, coaches and student-athletes at Arkansas State, as well as being very involved in the Jonesboro community. Along with my staff and our players, we will work tirelessly to build the success, profile and brand of A-State Basketball.
"We will strive to not only put a winning product on the floor that our fans will enjoy watching, but also handle our business off the court and in the classroom in a manner that makes everyone proud. There is no doubt that we have the potential for greatness here at A-State, and I can't wait to get started.
"Finally, I want to thank Coach Oats, Greg Byrne, and everyone with the University of Alabama for an amazing four years. The University of Alabama is a special place, with amazing people, and I wouldn't have had this opportunity without Coach Oats and the Alabama family. While I am excited about my future in Jonesboro, we have unfinished business here, and I'm eager to coach these young men for a few more games."
In his time with the Crimson Tide, Hodgson has helped the program claim its first regular season conference title since 2002, first conference tournament title since 1991 and first Sweet 16 appearance since 2004. Four Alabama players have been drafted to the NBA since 2020 after the program had one selection from 1992-2019.
"We had significant interest in our position and had great conversations with sitting head coaches and assistants from very successful programs," said Arkansas State University System President Dr. Chuck Welch. "Our deliberations always led us back to Bryan Hodgson. We heard from head coaches and college basketball analysts across the nation, and they all said the same thing, 'Bryan Hodgson is the real deal, he is a world-class talent evaluator and recruiter, and he is ready to lead his own program.' His commitment to analytics and strong communication skills certainly convinced me--Bryan Hodgson is the right guy to be our next head basketball coach."
"We are thrilled to welcome Bryan Hodgson as our new head men's basketball coach at A-State," said Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Todd Shields. "Not only does he have an exceptional track record in recruiting top talent, game preparation, and game strategy, he is a wonderful person who embodies the values we hold as a program and a university. We are confident that he will help our student-athletes reach their full potential both on and off the court."
This season, Hodgson assisted as Alabama was one of only two teams nationally, joining Houston, to rank in the top-15 in both defensive adjusted efficiency (No. 5) and in offensive adjusted efficiency (No. 15) according to KenPom. Alabama, winner of the SEC regular season and SEC Tournament crown, will make its ninth NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in program history on Friday, its second appearance in the last three seasons. Entering the regional semifinal with a program-record 31 wins and a record of 31-5, Alabama has a 16-4 mark against NCAA Tournament teams in 2022-23.
After finishing the 2019-20 season with a 16-16 record and 8-10 mark in SEC play, Alabama finished the 2020-21 campaign ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press poll, highest in program history at the time. The Crimson Tide's 26 overall wins were the second-most in school history, while the Sweet 16 appearance in the 2021 NCAA Tournament was the first for Alabama in 17 years. Alabama clinched its first regular season title in 19 years and captured the SEC Tournament title for the first time in 30 years.
Hodgson blazed a trail to Canada as he signed the first Canadian players in Crimson Tide program history – Joshua Primo and Keon Ambrose-Hilton – Canada's No. 1 and No. 3-ranked players, respectively, in 2020. He followed that by getting a third Canadian, Charles Bediako, to Tuscaloosa in 2021. Primo spent the 2020-21 season with Alabama before being selected 12th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.
In addition to ranking as one of the top recruiters in collegiate basketball, Hodgson was named to The Athletic's Top-25 up-and-coming coaches and one of the top 50 Most Impactful High Major Assistant Coaches. He was invited to participate in the prestigious 2020 TopConnect Seminar which identifies the top assistants in the country and connects them with mid-major athletic directors. Previously, Hodgson was one of 30 assistant coaches named to the 2016 Under Armour 30-under-30 Team by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Hodgson spent four season (2015-19) with Oats at the University of Buffalo, where together they took the program to unprecedented heights. Hodgson helped guide the Bulls to three NCAA Tournament appearances and three Mid-American Conference Tournament championships, while also earning a pair of MAC regular season titles. Buffalo reached the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and 2019.
During his time at Buffalo, the Bulls were ranked for 20 weeks in the Associated Press Top-25 throughout the 2018-19 season marking the first time in school history the program had earned a national ranking. Buffalo went on to climb as high as No. 14 in the nation – the highest ranking by any MAC team in the past 40 years.
In the 2018-19 campaign, the Bulls finished with an impressive 32-4 overall record with the 32 victories marking the most in program history and most-ever by a MAC program. Coupled with a 27-9 mark in 2017-18, Buffalo had a combined 59-13 record from 2017-19 setting the best two-year stretch in school history.
In addition to his recruiting prowess, Hodgson is also known for his ability to develop talent. During his four seasons at Buffalo, nearly every player on the roster made tremendous strides on the court, none more so than 2019 MAC Player of the Year CJ Massinburg, who finished his career as a three-time All-MAC honoree and second in school history with 1,990 career points and 273 career treys. He went on to be named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press as a senior.
Hodgson served two seasons, one in a volunteer capacity, as an assistant coach at Midland (Texas) College, where he helped lead the team to a six-win turnaround during the 2014-15 season. He helped manage all aspects of recruitment for Midland and conducted individual skill development workouts and in-season team practice sessions.
A western New York native, Hodgson served as an assistant coach from 2010-13 at Jamestown Community College. In his time at JCC, he coached 14 players who received scholarships to four-year schools after their graduation while nine were all-region players.
Hodgson played collegiately for two seasons at Jamestown CC, serving as a two-year captain, before heading to Fredonia State. While at Fredonia State, he served as an assistant coach and earned his undergraduate degree in sports management in 2011. He later earned his masters degree in education from the University of the Southwest in 2015.
Adopted at the age of two, Hodgson has been an active participant in Big Brothers, Big Sisters Program throughout his career. He is the founder and president of Coaching Love, Inc., established to benefit at-risk youth, particularly those in the foster care system and those waiting to be adopted.