“It is my pleasure to welcome Dean and his family to Illinois
State,” Muller said. “Dean represents everything I want our program
to stand for and is an excellent coach. Toughness, intelligence,
work ethic, competitor and winner are words I would use to describe
Dean. He will be a great asset for all of our players, but
specifically our guards. I’m very excited to begin working with
A Mason City, Iowa, native who was born in Quincy, Ill., Oliver
spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at the University
of North Dakota, in Grand Forks, N.D. Prior to joining the coaching
ranks, Oliver prospered as a professional basketball player for
nearly a decade, including a two-year stint in the NBA with the
Golden State Warriors. He also served as a standout point guard at
the University of Iowa, from 1997-2001.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to join Coach Muller and his
staff,” Oliver said. “This is a huge opportunity for me and my
family. I’m happy to get back to my Illinois roots. Illinois State
has an outstanding young staff, and I’m excited to learn and grow
with them. The direction of the program is what really impressed me
in the interview process. Coach Muller has done a fantastic job in
his first two seasons, and things are only going to get better.”
After playing or coaching the game at a high level for nearly 17
years, Oliver is prepared to draw on his basketball expertise in his
new role at Illinois State.
“I can’t wait to start working with this young team and help them
develop both on and off the court,” Oliver said. “I look forward to
sharing my knowledge and experiences with them, and I’m eager to
help set the table for them to have success.”
During his three-year stint at North Dakota, Oliver’s primary
responsibilities included working with the UND perimeter players,
with an emphasis on developing the program’s point guards.
Under Oliver’s tutelage, the UND starting backcourt of Jamal Webb
and Aaron Anderson flourished. In Oliver’s first season, Webb was
named the Great West Tournament Most Valuable Player, as the team
captured its second-straight postseason title. Webb and Anderson
also earned honorable mention All-GWC honors in 2011-12. Anderson
led all GWC guards in assists with 40 (4.0 per game) and was the
team’s second leading scorer (11.0 points per game). Defensively,
the duo accounted for a combined 98 steals.
This season, Anderson
– who was an All-Big Sky Second Team selection in 2012-13 – earned
honorable mention honors after averaging 10.0 points per game in
league play and shooting 84.7 percent from the free throw line.
Meanwhile, Webb was named Big Sky Co-Reserve of the Year, after
becoming the first player in UND history to register
four-consecutive seasons with 50 steals and 100 assists. He finished
fifth this year in Big Sky games in assists (3.9 per game) and
second in steals (1.8 per game).
[to top of second column]
Prior to beginning his coaching career at UND, Oliver played
professional basketball for nine years, including stints in the NBA,
the NBA Development League and a variety of leagues overseas. Oliver
spent his final season playing for JL Bourg in a French league,
after playing a season in Slovenia, a season in Croatia, a season in
Poland and three seasons with the EiffelTowers in the Netherlands.
After a productive four-year career at Iowa, Oliver spent his first
two professional seasons (2001-03) with the Golden State Warriors in
Oliver started all but two games for the Hawkeyes in his four
collegiate seasons. He earned All-Big Ten Conference Third-Team
honors after his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Only two
other Big Ten players besides Oliver have collected more than 1,500
points, 500 assists and 200 steals in their careers. He still
remains sixth all-time at Iowa in three-point field goals made (161)
and third in free throws made (468), while holding third on the
career charts in assists (561) and second in steals (205).
As a senior, Oliver led the Big Ten Conference in assist-to-turnover
ratio and assists per game. He played a key role in helping his
squad advance to the Sweet Sixteen as a sophomore. Iowa won the Big
Ten Tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA
Tournament during his senior season.
Oliver earned his degree in business administration from Iowa in
2001. He and his wife, Sarah, have two children: a son Isaiah (6)
and a daughter, Isabella (3).
[Text received; JOHN TWORK, ILLINOIS
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