Staff changes for UA basketball

TUSCALOOSA, AL - University of Alabama men's basketball head coach Anthony Grant announced changes to his staff for the upcoming 2010-11 season on Monday afternoon.

Former director of operations Tony Pujol will move into an assistant coach position while Antoine Pettway, who served as an assistant in 2009-10, will transition into the director of operations role.

"This is a decision that I reached a little while ago and I think that it is in the best interest of our program and also each individual," said Grant.  "Antoine's 27 years old and was a great player here and I think he's done a great job for us.  There are some scenarios that I think he needs to continue to grow in on and off the floor in terms of his coaching.  I think he realizes that and realizes that this is an opportunity to grow in some areas and to learn more aspects of what it takes at this level.  He has aspirations to be a head coach one day, and I think my responsibility is to make sure that he is growing the way he needs to and make sure the team has what it needs as well.  On the other end, Tony Pujol was a guy who was with me at VCU, on the floor.  Did everything in regards to the recruiting and the coaching and I have a comfort level that he will add something to our staff here.  I feel blessed that we had someone in house that will fulfill the needs we have."

Pujol has been a member of Grant's staff for four seasons, three as an assistant at VCU and last season as the director of operations at Alabama. At VCU, he developed 12 all-Colonial Athletic Association selections and helped recruit a class that was ranked fifth in the nation among mid-major programs. In his new role, he will assist with scouting and recruiting duties as well. A Miami, Fla., native, he also served as an assistant for two seasons at Appalachian State after an incredibly successful 13-year stint as a high school coach in south Florida that saw his teams win three state titles.

"I am excited to have the opportunity to coach our student-athletes," said Pujol. "I have learned a great deal in the past year observing our players and coaches and I am grateful that Coach Grant has given me the opportunity to directly work with these young men."

Pettway has served on the staff of his alma mater for the past two seasons and will now oversee all off-court responsibilities associated with the program. The former standout on the court joined the Crimson Tide staff in 2008 after two seasons at Jacksonville State. As a player, he was an integral part of UA's 'Elite Eight' run in 2004 and led the Tide to three straight NCAA appearances.

"I look forward to my new role and having a greater involvement in all aspects of the program," said Pettway. "This position will allow me to understand all the elements that go into building a successful program which will be extremely valuable as I grow in my coaching career."