DES MOINES, Iowa--Drake men's basketball head coach Mark Phelps announced the addition of Chris Brazelton to the coaching staff on Thursday, and the promotion of Nate Meyer from graduate manager to coordinator of basketball operations.
Meyer has spent the past two years in the graduate manager position. Brazelton comes to Drake after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at the University of California Riverside.
Brazelton joined the UC Riverside staff under head coach Jim Wooldridge in 2007 after one year as a graduate assistant at the University of New Orleans under Buzz Williams.
"The thing that stands out to me about Chris is that he is a terrific person, first and foremost," said Phelps. "He is an extremely hard worker with great focus. He is a man of high character and he cares very much about serving student-athletes, with an emphasis on excellence. While Chris is known as an outstanding recruiter, he also excels on the court as a teacher and motivator. I am extremely excited that Chris is joining our staff as an assistant coach."
A native of Highland, Calif., Brazelton is a graduate of nearby Redlands East Valley High School. He earned his undergraduate degree in speech communication from Fresno State in May of 2006, working as head manager under Head Coach Steve Cleveland.
"I am honored to become a member of the Drake Bulldog Family," Brazelton said. "Coach Phelps has a phenomenal vision for the level of excellence he expects. Drake men's basketball is already good; he wants it to represent greatness in every way. There is something unique and special here, and I am excited to be a part of it."
Brazelton began his collegiate career at UC Santa Cruz, averaging 6.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He then transferred to Fresno State, where he made the team as a walk-on and redshirted in 2003-04. In 2004-05 he was named a Fresno State Scholar-Athlete.
An All-Citrus Belt performer in both basketball and track in high school, Brazelton also was a member of the National Honor Society and the California Scholastic Federation. He was rated as one of the top shooting guards in California by socalhoops.com. Brazelton played for the Inland Empire Basketball Program AAU team under the guidance of coaches Keith Howard and Julius Patterson, and appeared in the 2001 IEBP All-Star game in Riverside County.
Brazelton earned his master's degree in strategic communications in September of 2009 from National University, graduating with honors (3.53).
Meyer, a graduate of Urbandale (Iowa) High School, joined the Drake men's basketball program as graduate manager on July 1, 2010. In that role he has served as the program's video coordinator and has overseen the student-manager staff, along with a variety of other administrative duties as assigned by the coaching staff.
"Nate has worked extremely hard as a graduate manager for us the past two years, and has certainly earned the opportunity to be a full-time permanent member of our staff," Phelps said. "His experience the past six years at Nebraska and Drake, his tireless work ethic and his familiarity with our culture as a basketball program make him a perfect fit for the coordinator of basketball operations position."
Prior to coming to Drake, Meyer served as a student manager under Head Coach Doc Sadler at the University of Nebraska from 2007-2010. During his time at Nebraska he was part of two postseason teams, qualifying for the NIT in 2008 and 2009. Along with his in-season experience, he has also spent his college summers working more than 20 camps throughout the Midwest.
During his prep career, Meyer helped lead Urbandale to back-to-back CIML Central Conference basketball championships in 2005 and 2006, including a 20-3 mark as a senior.
Meyer earned a degree in business management from Nebraska in May 2010. This summer he is completing his master's degree in public administration at Drake.