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Todd Townsend Added to the Men's Basketball Staff

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: April 16, 2013
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DES MOINES, Iowa – Drake University head men’s basketball coach Ray Giacoletti has announced the final member of his coaching staff with the hiring of Todd Townsend.

“Todd brings the last piece of the puzzle in to our coaching staff with great recruiting ties in Chicago and Milwaukee,” Giacoletti said. “He has a great background having played at Marquette under Tom Crean and he gives our program a staff that is capable of scouring the Midwest to attract the best student-athletes to Drake.”

Townsend, a former team captain and member of a Final Four team at Marquette, comes to Drake after spending the last four seasons in a similar role at Northern Illinois. While at NIU, his recruiting efforts helped attract some of the top talent in Illinois to campus.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join Coach Giacoletti’s staff and the Drake men’s basketball program,” Townsend said. “Drake’s mix of strong academics and a commitment to creating a first-class student-athlete experience – coupled with Coach Giacoletti’s vision for the program – makes this a very attractive program to be a part of.”

On the court, Townsend helped mentor Xavier Silas, the leading scorer in the Mid-American Conference and seventh-leading scorer in the nation during the 2010-11 season. During Townsend's first season on staff, Silas became the first NIU player to earn All-District honors in more than a decade. Silas went on to become the first Huskie to play in the NBA since 1997, spending the 2011-12 season as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers organization.

As a recruiter, Townsend helped NIU sign a number of high-profile in-state recruits, including Abdel Nader, a top-10 recruit in Illinois and Dre Henley, a top-25 recruit in Illinois. Tim Toler, a first team junior college All-American, and highly-recruited twins Keith and Kevin Gray were also actively recruited by Townsend and helped the Huskies start to rebuild the program with a young foundation.

As a member of NIU head Mark Montgomery's first staff in 2011-12, Townsend helped coached one of the youngest teams in the nation. NIU saw 55.9 percent of its minutes played by freshmen, the sixth-highest percentage in the country, and the Huskies lead the MAC in offensive rebounds while ranking second in rebounding defense and third in rebounding margin. Abdel Nader became the first NIU player since 2009 to be named to the MAC All-Freshman team.

Prior to coming to NIU, Townsend spent the 2008-09 season in Europe, playing and coaching professionally. Townsend started the season in Germany playing for the Dusseldorf Giants before finishing the season in Sweden as a player/coach with the Norrkoping Dolphins.

A native of Chicago, Ill.,, Townsend worked as an assistant coach at Northeastern University during the 2007-08 season under head coach Bill Coen. Townsend helped Northeastern's Matt Janning earn second team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and Chaisson Allen receive CAA All-Rookie team recognition.

Before beginning his coaching career at Northeastern, Townsend served two years as the director of basketball operations at his alma mater, Marquette. Working under then-head coach Tom Crean, Townsend was part of a staff that guided the Golden Eagles to two-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, a 20-12 BIG EAST Conference record, and a combined record of 44-21 in back-to-back 20-win campaigns.

In four seasons as a player at Marquette (2001-05), Townsend helped the Golden Eagles win 91 games, advancing to postseason play in all four seasons. Marquette made two trips to the NCAA Tournament during Townsend's playing career, including a trip to the NCAA Final Four in 2003. Townsend started all 33 games on the team that reached Marquette's first Final Four since 1977. He captained Marquette during his senior season and was a two-time recipient of the Bart Miller Standard of Excellence Award during his playing career with the Golden Eagles.

“I think his playing experience is huge, having played alongside Dwyane Wade and been to a Final Four,” Giacoletti said. “That builds instant credibility for our players. I’m excited to have him. He’s a hard-working, organized and well-respected young coach.”

Townsend earned his bachelor's degree in communication studies from Marquette in May of 2005. He has a son, Tyson, born in December of 2009, and a daughter, Leila, born in June of 2011.

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