AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 5, 2019) – The Austin Spurs, presented by SWBC, today announced that Matt Nielsen and Reece Gaines have been named assistant coaches on Head Coach Blake Ahearn’s staff. Ahearn, along with Assistant Coach Petar Božić, are entering their third season with the team.
Nielsen joins Austin for his first season as an assistant coach after most recently serving as an assistant coach for the NBL’s Perth Wildcats in Australia (2015-19), where he helped lead the team to three of its championships (2019, 2017, 2016). He previously spent time with the San Antonio Spurs’ coaching staff in a player development role (2014-15). He played overseas from 1995-2013 and was a two-time EuroCup champion (2012, 2010), LKL champion (2007), two-time Baltic League champion (2007, 2006) and two-time NBL champion (2004, 2003). He earned several honors, including EuroCup Finals MVP (2010), NBL MVP (2004) and NBL Rookie of the Year (1997). As a member of the senior men’s Australian national basketball team, he won gold medals at the 2005 FIBA Oceania Championship, 2003 FIBA Oceanian Championship and 2001 Goodwill Games. He also won the gold medal at the 1997 FIBA Under-21 World Championship with Australia’s junior national team.
Gaines enters his first season as an assistant coach with Austin. He was previously an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky University (2015-18) and was named acting head coach last season (2018-19). Prior, he served as an assistant coach at Bellarmine University (2012-15), where he helped lead the team to three straight NCAA Division II tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 and Final Four trip. Gaines was originally selected No. 15 overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2003 NBA Draft and played in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks (2005-06), Houston Rockets (2004-05) and Orlando Magic (2003-04). He played overseas from 2007-12 and spent time in the NBA G League with the Texas Legends (2010) and Bakersfield Jam (2009-10). While playing collegiately at the University of Louisville (1999-2003), he earned Third Team AP All-American honors (2003) and First Team All-Conference USA honors (2003, 2002).
In addition, the team has hired Kenny Trevino as coaching assistant and Carl White as athletic trainer.
Trevino previously spent time in Austin and San Antonio. He first joined the Spurs organization as a ball boy for the San Antonio Spurs in 2012 and became an assistant equipment manager for the team in the 2016-17 season. He has assisted the video room with on-court drills for the past three seasons. The Laredo, Texas, native graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2016.
White joins Austin after most recently serving as an assistant athletic trainer with men’s basketball at Wake Forest University. The College Park, Maryland, native was previously a graduate assistant athletic trainer with wrestling, football and sport clubs at the University of North Carolina, where he graduated from in 2015, in addition to an intern athletic trainer with men’s basketball at the United States Naval Academy.
Austin will take on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday, Nov. 8 at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park for opening night of the 2019-20 15th anniversary season. Season and single game tickets are available now. Call (512) 236-8333 or visit austinspurs.com for more information.