JMU roundup: Summers joins Dukes’ men’s basketball staff

Daily Staff Report – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG — James Madison University men’s basketball head coach Matt Brady on Wednesday announced the addition of former Penn State and West Virginia center Rob Summers to the JMU staff as its new director of basketball operations.

“Rob is a welcome addition to the JMU men’s basketball program,” Brady stated in a school news release. “He possesses a wealth of knowledge, great work ethic and, most importantly, he’s a terrific person. He was a true student-athlete who excelled both in the classroom and on the court. He’s learned from some tremendous college coaches. We are eager to welcome him, and I know he’s eager for this opportunity.”

A 7-footer with professional playing experience, Summers will acquire his first NCAA Division I experience with the Dukes following a two-year stint as assistant coach and compliance coordinator at Division II Glenville State in West Virginia.

Speaking of his new opportunity with the Dukes, Summers stated, “I am extremely excited to join Coach Brady’s staff and very appreciative of the opportunity that he has given me. I look forward to being a part of a bright future for James Madison men’s basketball.”

Summers committed to Penn State out of Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio and played 56 games for the Nittany Lions from 2002 to 2004, scoring 217 points. He played one year following a coaching transition before then deciding to transfer to West Virginia.

Playing under John Beilein, who in 2013 led Michigan to a national runner-up finish, Summers sat out the 2004-05 season as a transfer when the Mountaineers reached the NCAA Elite Eight. He appeared in 33 games in his first season with WVU in 2005-06 as the team reached the Sweet 16.

Summers put together his best individual season as a senior, averaging 4.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game when West Virginia won the NIT. His .633 field goal percentage still stands as the second-best mark in program history. The team captain made 36 starts and posted career highs of 158 points and 166 rebounds.

Following his time at WVU, Summers was selected by the Iowa Energy in the 2007 NBA Development League Draft. He ultimately decided to compete overseas with stops in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

The three-time Big East Academic All-Star received his bachelor’s degree in sports management from WVU in 2007 and later achieved his master’s in athletic coaching education from WVU in 2012.

Each of JMU’s previous two individuals serving as director of basketball operations were hired as Division I assistant coaches the following year. Bill Phillips filled the role for the 2011-12 season before then finding a staff opening with the Dukes. Lucious Jordan filled the operations slot in 2012-13 and was hired recently as an assistant at Siena.