Long Island University has fired men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg after five seasons and hired G League Ignite program manager Rod Strickland as his successor, the program announced Thursday. Strickland is a native of the Bronx and former 1988 first-round draft pick of the New York Knicks. He worked as an assistant at South Florida from 2014 to 2017 before helping spearhead Ignite in its early stages over the past three years.
"Rod Strickland has a demonstrated eye for recruiting and developing student-athletes and we are confident he will elevate Long Island University's winning tradition to even greater heights," Long Island University President Kimberly R. Cline said Thursday in a statement announcing the hire.
"Rod has done a tremendous job as program director for NBA G League Ignite, from leading our recruiting efforts to aiding in the development of our young players, including six NBA Draft picks in the last two seasons," Shareef Abdur-Rahim, President of the NBA G League, added. "We wish him the best with Long Island University. LIU is getting an amazing person and great basketball man."
At LIU, Strickland will inherit a program that is coming off a third-place finish in the Northeast Conference. The Sharks never finished worse than .500 in league play during Kellogg's five seasons, going 74-74 (49-41 NEC) during his tenure and reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2018.
Kellogg, 49, came to LIU following a nine-year run at UMass and a near-equally long run on John Calipari's staff at Memphis. The transition comes late in the offseason at a time when the deadline for players to enter the transfer portal and be eligible immediately.
Strickland played in the NBA from 1988 to 2005, logging time with the Knicks, Spurs, Trail Blazers, Wizards, Heat, Timberwolves, Magic, Raptors and Rockets. He joined the upstart G League program in 2018 as it popped up to serve as an alternative to college basketball for high school prospects seeking professional development opportunities.
"Developing young players on and off the court has always aligned with my passion while I was playing and after retiring from the NBA," Strickland said. "I am appreciative to Long Island University for the opportunity to become a head coach at home, in New York City. The Sharks are going to be a competing program for top athletes who not only want to take their game to the next level but prepare for success."