The search is over. UB named George Halcovage III its 15th head coach in men’s basketball history on Thursday.
Halcovage spent 15 seasons on the Villanova Wildcats’ coaching staff and was named top-50 most impactful high-major assistants by Silver Waves back in 2020 and 2022. Halcovage coached multiple NBA players at Villanova, and has coached alongside one of the best coaches in NCAA history, Jay Wright.
After his hiring, former players and colleagues reacted online:
Jalen Brunson — Current guard for the New York Knicks
Brunson is regarded as one of the greatest Wildcats of all time, playing for Villanova from 2016-18. Brunson led the team to two national championships (2016 and 2018) and scored over 1,200 career points. Halcovage was an assistant coach during both of the years Brunson played at Villanova.
Josh Hart — Current forward for the New York Knicks
One of the most exciting players in Villanova history, the longtime Wildcat played for Nova from 2013-2017, and is ranked 10th in school history with 1,921 career points. Hart was also a member of the Wildcats’ 2016 and 2018 NCAA National Championship teams.
Ryan Arcidiacono — Current guard for the Portland Trail Blazers
Best known for his dishing assist to the trailing Kris Jenkins, who hit the game-winning three-point shot during Nova’s 2016 National Championship, Arcidiacono played at Villanova from 2012-16.
Mikal Bridges — Current forward for the Brooklyn Nets
Bridges, who played at Villanova from 2016-18, was a key player, especially during the 2017 season, earning himself co-Big East Defensive Player Of The Year, Big East Tournament MVP and Third-Team consensus All-American honors. Bridges also scored 19 points in the 2018 NCAA Tournament Championship, when Villanova beat Michigan 79-62.
Collin Gillespie — Current guard for the Denver Nuggets
Gillespie played at Villanova from 2017-22 and was named Big East player of the year twice in 2021 and 2022. He also accumulated 1,750 points and 450 assists. The point guard started every game for the Wildcats, and is known as one of the most reliable college players of all time.
Kyle Neptune — Current head coach for Villanova
Neptune, who made his head coaching debut for Villanova in April 2022, praised Halcogave as a recruiter and coach.
Jay Wright — Former Villanova basketball head coach
Halcovage’s Villanova career started under Wright. Halcovage spent 15 seasons with Wright, winning two national titles.
“George is one of the best coaches we’ve ever had at Villanova,” Wright said in a news release. “He has recruited, developed, and mentored our players with passion. George is a great leader and basketball mind. We’ll miss him and Lizzy. The University at Buffalo is getting a creative, committed Head Basketball Coach.”
Becky Burke — Current UB women’s basketball head coach
Burke just wrapped up her first season at UB as head coach of the women’s basketball team. She welcomed Halcovage on Twitter.
Mark Alnutt — UB Athletic Director
It’s no surprise that Alnutt is excited about the hiring (after all, it was his decision). He also took to Twitter to welcome Halcovage.
Halcovage’s introductory press conference will take place at noon on Monday at Alumni Arena.
The sports desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org