Seven assistant coaches stand on the court for the alma mater

Andrea Wilkinson/Nevada Sagebrush. Nevada assistant coaches Robert Edwards, Brandon Dunson, Patrick Ackerman, Matt Eck, Gus Arsenal, Rex Walters and Rob Zewe stand for the alma mater after Nevada’s win over Pacific on Friday, Nov. 9 at Lawlor Events Center. Head coach Eric Musselman has 17 total assistants on this year’s staff.

The Wolf Pack men’s basketball coaching staff share more than just the X’s and O’s of the game. Nevada holds 17 coaching staff members under head coach Eric Musselman, including three assistant coaches and six graduates assistants They have the highest staff in the Mountain West Conference by a wide margin — with six more assistants coaches than Colorado State — but each member shares a special bond with each other.

“We’re always interacting with or around each other,” graduate assistant Clinton Tremelling said. “We help each other out a lot and we’ve gotten to know each other as a staff very well and that goes a long way for the team as a whole. It helps to have a positive locker room with the staff and its players.”

The staff is broken up into different groups and positions from player personnel to strength and conditioning. Each is assigned to a different task at hand both on and off the court, but it’s translating to early success for the program.

“Coach (Musselman) gives us a lot of leeway to do what we want,” assistant coach Gus Argenal said. “Whether it’s graduate assistants helping the players find their rhythm or assistants sharing their ideas on the game plan, he’s open to suggestions and everyone gets their input in and contributes.”

While the players develop a chemistry on the court, the assistant coaching staff do the same and hold each other accountable on the baselines, that way they’re a well oiled machine heading into conference tournaments and potentially even further.

coach Gus Argenal talks to Lindsey Drew

Andrea Wilkinson/Nevada Sagebrush. Assistant coach Gus Argenal talks to Lindsey Drew during a game against Pacific.

“We definitely get into a staff groove throughout the season,” Argenal said.  “I think Coach helps instill that confidence in us to lead this program in the right direction. And so far, we’re doing a good job getting our perspective of the game out there.”

For a graduate assistant, it’s more than grabbing rebounds for the players during warmups. They assist the head coach in pregame preparation, participate in off-season conditioning and communicate with the players on the court. But Coach Musselman’s requirements for graduate assistants may differ compared to other programs.  

First-year graduate assistant Rob Zewe was introduced to Musselman’s standards early this summer, bringing a fiery intensity in every practice and scrimmage with the team.

“From day one I knew I had to come here and bring a lot of energy,” he said. “You get a feel for how everyone operates from the head coach to the assistants and the guys in-between. It helps to be thrown into the fire this early and getting the players amped up.”

The Wolf Pack’s run to the Sweet Sixteen during the 2017-18 NCAA Tournament brought a national spotlight and increased expectations this season. The pressure isn’t only on the players to perform on the floor, but on the coaching staff to draw-up a solid game plan for every opponent.

“The expectations have been here since coach Muss turned this team around,” Argenal said. “It’s all about getting this group to play our style of basketball. And with each game, we look to improve and try to raise the bar for ourselves as a staff.”

Zewe is prepared to do whatever it takes in order for Nevada to make it back into the tournament.

“As a staff, we have to focus on the everyday details,” he said. “We have to focus on the grind in practice, pushing each other and holding each other accountable in order to make it at the end of the season.”

The Wolf Pack have the players and staff in place to keep Lawlor Events Center buzzing with energy and excitement as they gear up for another tournament appearance.


Matt Hanifan can be reached at and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.