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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cohen goin’ to the Bayou

    UA mens basketball team manager Adam Cohen takes some time off in McKale Center Monday. Cohen will be taking an assistant coaching position at the University of New Orleans starting next season and hopes to become a head coach by age 30.
    UA men’s basketball team manager Adam Cohen takes some time off in McKale Center Monday. Cohen will be taking an assistant coaching position at the University of New Orleans starting next season and hopes to become a head coach by age 30.

    Adam Cohen set a goal to become a head coach by age 30.

    Cohen, who has spent the last three years as a UA basketball manager, took his next step toward making that happen by accepting a graduate assistant job at the University of New Orleans.

    “”It’s a good opportunity for me, I can’t wait,”” said the 21-year-old Cohen, who will graduate from Arizona next month. “”The big thing is it’s a step up for me. It’s time to move on and time to do something new and step up.””

    UA assistant coach Josh Pastner knows New Orleans head coach Joe Pasternack and recommended Cohen for the job.

    Pastner also brought Cohen to Tucson in the first place after Cohen spent half of his freshman year trying to play Division III ball for Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the other half working as a manager at the University of Buffalo.

    “”When you give someone the opportunity they have to make the most of it and take full advantage and that’s what he’s done tenfold,”” Pastner said.

    Cohen said he will be taking care of the video responsibilities as well as helping out with individual workouts and scouting, doing basically everything an assistant would, besides recruiting on the road.

    Those are many of the same tasks Cohen performed at Arizona, where he played a big role in preparing scouting tapes and breaking down film.

    UA program/recruiting coordinator Ryan Hennick, who started out as a manager with Cohen, called the soon-to-be New Orleans assistant one of Arizona’s hardest-working managers during the five years he’s been in the program.

    “”He’s been there when he’s needed to and when he hasn’t been asked to,”” Hennick said. “”Bottom line, he’s put everything into the program, he loves the game of basketball, is a tremendous worker and without him in terms of our video stuff and even on-the-court stuff, he’s been a huge, huge help to the program and will be missed. No question about it.””

    Hennick also will be missed. He said he will no longer be a member of Arizona’s staff next year but did not know where he would be going.

    Hennick said he and Cohen were fortunate to become close with former UA interim head coach Kevin O’Neill last season. Hennick and Cohen would arrive as early as they could wake up to talk with O’Neill about strategy and matchups.

    During the summer they would show up around 5 a.m. for an O’Neill-led team workout, then help run the program’s summer camp, work out players in between and finally go home around midnight.

    Hennick called Cohen a “”natural coach,”” who he sees moving up quickly.

    “”It’s great working with him,”” Hennick said. “”From a personal standpoint, his passion for the game and his enthusiasm of being around basketball stuff, it makes you raise your level of intensity. We have very similar drives in terms of that. It makes you want to work that much harder. He’s going full bore all the way.””

    Cohen said this past year, though trying for everybody involved with Arizona basketball, has been good for his development. He added that everything he learned last year as a disciple of O’Neill was “”a lot different”” than the previous two seasons under head coach Lute Olson, but was a great situation for an aspiring coach if not for the stability of a program.

    “”Arizona’s been great to me,”” Cohen said. “”I’ve gotten a lot of responsibility this year. It’s been better than I could have imagined coming to a big-time program. I never thought I’d have the influence I did.””

    The feeling is mutual from Pastner after a year in which extra contributions made from the managers were critical with a team short an assistant.

    “”Adam’s been very, very good for the program, an extremely hard worker, an extremely dedicated basketball junkie, the type of the guy that will do whatever it takes to help a program win,”” Pastner said. “”I see really, really good things in the future for Adam, there’s no question about that.””

    But can he be a head coach by age 30?

    “”Very realistic. If you dream it, you can become it,”” Pastner said. “”I believe he’ll get there. He might even be there earlier than that.””

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