Chris Jent is returning to his alma mater as an assistant men’s basketball coach, Thad Matta, head coach of the Buckeyes, announced Wednesday. Jent fills the spot previously held by Brandon Miller, who recently resigned to spend more time with his family.
Jent left the Cleveland Cavaliers where he was most recently an assistant coach after first joining the organization as the director of player development in November of 2006. He was promoted to assistant coach in 2009.
As a member of the Cavaliers coaching staff, Jent was instrumental in the Cavaliers success. In 2008-09, the Cavaliers notched a franchise and NBA-best 66 wins as Cleveland finished the regular season as the league’s best defensive team, allowing an NBA-low 91.4 points per game.
The team also continued its postseason success, reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009, becoming the only team in the NBA to reach at least the Eastern Conference Semifinals from 2005-09. In the 2007 postseason, Cleveland reached the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history as they topped the Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets and Detroit Pistons to claim the team’s first Eastern Conference Championship.
Previously, Jent was an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic during the 2004-05 season before being named Orlando’s interim head coach for the final 18 games of the season. Prior to his one year stint with the Magic, he spent the 2003-04 season with the Philadelphia 76ers as assistant coach/player development.
He spent 10 seasons playing professionally, including two years in the NBA. He was a member of the 1994 NBA Champion Houston Rockets and also played for the New York Knicks during the 1996-97 season. Jent played five seasons in the CBA and also spent time playing overseas in Australia, Italy, Spain and Greece.
Jent, a native of Sparta, N.J., graduated from Ohio State with a degree in communication in 2006 after spending the 2005-06 season with the Buckeyes as a volunteer assistant. He played four seasons (1988-92) at Ohio State and helped lead the Buckeyes to three-consecutive NCAA tournaments and back-to-back Big Ten championships. He played in 123 games and scored 1,007 career points, which included 112 made 3-point field goals. His career 3-point shooting percentage (.382/112-293) ranks No. 8 all-time in Ohio State history.