By staff reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 16, 1997

Olson shakes up staff

Arizona men's basketball coach Lute Olson promoted his two assistants yesterday and announced the hiring of a new assistant coach to replace the departed Jesse Evans.

Assistant coach Phil Johnson, who was responsible for the game plan against Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen, was promoted to full-time assistant from the restricted-earnings coach position he held last season.

"Phil has worked here for four years, and he worked at New Orleans before that and brought them up to a top-25 program, and then he took a step down to come here," Olson said. "He's done an excellent job and we felt we needed to properly reward him."

Jim Rosborough, an assistant coach for eight years, was moved up to associate head coach.

"No one that I've worked with has better understood the philosophy of what we want done," Olson said. "He's turned down several offers to become a head coach elsewhere."

Rodney Tention will join the staff as the restricted-earnings coach and fills the void created when Evans left to become head coach at Southwestern Louisiana.

Tention, 33, is the former head coach at Division II College of Notre Dame in Belmont, Calif. His job with the Wildcats will focus on recruiting, scouting and assisting the players with academics. Tention will assume his position prior to the Wildcats' upcoming exhibition trip to Australia.

"The fact that he's had a lot of years as a coach, at the JC level, at Division I as an assistant, and at Division II as a head coach, all make us feel that's what we need for our staff," Olson said.

"First of all, I would like to thank coach Olson for the opportunity to join his staff," Tention said. "I am extremely excited about the challenge and look forward to working with a program that is as widely respected as Arizona basketball is. This is a great chance to work with some top-notch athletes - I feel as if I'm sitting on top of the world right now."

Johnson was associate head coach at New Orleans from 1992-93, helping the Privateers to the best finish in their history in 1993 at 26-4, good enough for a No. 13 national ranking. Prior to that, Johnson worked as an assistant at Tulsa in 1991, as head coach at Seminole Junior College in Oklahoma from 1987-90 and spent two seasons as head coach at Northern Oklahoma Junior College from 1985-87.

Rosborough was with Olson at Iowa from 1974-83, where he helped the Hawkeyes to six 20-win seasons and five NCAA berths including a Final Four appearance in 1980. He also spent time at Tulsa (1985) and was head coach at Northern Iowa from 1986-89.

Tention previously had been an assistant coach at the College of Notre Dame for the 1991-94 seasons. Earlier he was a graduate assistant coach at the University of South Florida.

He played college basketball at the Air Force Academy and the University of San Francisco as a point guard, and served as team captain for the Dons for two years.

(LAST_SECTION)  - (Wildcat Chat)  - (NEXT_STORY)