The Philadelphia 76ers announced Thursday that the team has named Jim O’Brien and Kevin Young as Assistant Coaches, John Bryant and Alvin Williams as Player Development Coaches, John Townsend as Shooting Coach, Chris Babcock as Assistant Director of Player Development and Dr. Lance Pearson as Director of Applied Analytics.
In a related move, Eugene Burroughs, who spent the last two seasons as the Sixers’ shooting coach, has been promoted to Head Coach of the Delaware 87ers, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Sixers.
“We are excited to maintain a continuity of culture within the staff by promoting five very talented coaches from within our organization,” said Sixers Head Coach Brett Brown. “This commitment to growth and development is the foundation upon which we were also able to recruit three coaches with decades of expertise who will help move our program forward and fit seamlessly into our system.”
O’Brien, a Philadelphia native, has nearly four decades of coaching experience, most recently as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2012-13 season. He has held three NBA head coaching positions, including the 2004-05 season with the Sixers, when he led the team to a playoff appearance and a 43-39 record. O’Brien played his college basketball at St. Joseph’s University (1971-74) and attended high school at Roman Catholic.
Young has coached in the NBA Development League since 2007, most recently serving as head coach of the Delaware 87ers for the past two seasons. He previously held head-coaching positions with the Iowa Energy (2011-13) and Utah Flash (2010-11). As a player, Young starred at point guard for Clayton State University (2002-04).
Bryant also spent the past two seasons with the Delaware 87ers as an assistant coach. In three seasons prior to joining the Sevens, he served as assistant coach/head strength & conditioning coach with the Bakersfield Jam. Like O’Brien, he played his collegiate basketball at St. Joseph’s University (2001-05).
Townsend joins the Sixers after spending the past three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies. He spent his first season as the team’s shooting coach before serving as Memphis’ director of player development for the past two seasons. Townsend has over a decade of additional experience as a shooting coach, including time spent in that role with the Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers and NBA Development League. Under Townsend’s direction, the 2008-09 Blazers shot 46.5 percent from the field, which ranked eighth in the NBA.
Williams was the Toronto Raptors’ director of player development from 2010-13. He began his coaching career after a 10-year run in the NBA, eight of which were spent with the Toronto Raptors. Born in Philadelphia, Williams played his high school basketball at Germantown Academy before putting together a standout four-year career at Villanova University (1993-97). For his senior season, Williams posted averages of 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in 34 minutes per game as he led the Wildcats to a 24-10 record, capturing the Big East regular season title and a four-seed in the 1997 NCAA Tournament.
Babcock served as player development assistant this past season with the Sixers. He originally joined the team prior to the start of the 2013-14 season and assumed the role of assistant video coordinator, a position he held for two seasons. He spent the 2012-13 season with the San Antonio Spurs in the same role. Prior to his time with the Spurs, Babcock coached at the University of Texas from 2008-12.
Pearson spent last season in the role of coordinator of coaching analytics and special video projects, and has been working within the Sixers’ basketball operations department for the past three seasons. He spent four years at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky as an assistant coach and adjunct professor of psychology. Pearson holds three bachelor’s degrees from the University of Kentucky as well as a Ph.D. in cognitive and neutral systems from Boston University.
Burroughs will assume the head coach position with the Sevens after spending the past two seasons as the Sixers’ shooting coach. Prior to joining the Sixers, Burroughs was an assistant coach at Marist College. He spent the previous two years as associate head coach at Penn State. A Philadelphia native, he played his collegiate basketball at Richmond University (1991-94), where he was a member of the first-ever 15-seed to defeat a two-seed in the NCAA Tournament, when the Spiders knocked off Syracuse in 1991.