Calbert Cheaney, Indiana’s director of operations and all-time leading scorer, has accepted a position as an assistant coach at St. Louis under former IU assistant Jim Crews.
“Calbert played an invaluable role in the success we enjoyed the last two years and we are excited for what the future holds for him and his family,” IU coach Tom Crean said in a press release. “He brought a great deal to us and in turn, I think he gained valuable insight into the profession during his time at IU. He has come to have a strong desire to return to the floor coaching and can do so with someone he trusts and respects in Jim Crews. He will do an outstanding job and there is no doubt in my mind that he has a tremendous future coaching at any level.”
Cheaney has a long-standing relationship with Crews. Crews was the head coach at Evansville from 1985-2002 and Cheaney grew up in Evansville and played at Evansville-Harrison High School. Crews recruited Cheaney before he enrolled at Indiana in 1990. This position came open when St. Louis assistant Jim Whitesell left for St. John’s on Aug. 6.
Cheaney was a three-time All-American at Indiana and the Big Ten MVP and National Player of the Year in 1993. He left Indiana as the all-time leading scorer in not only Indiana but Big Ten history with 2,613 points.
Cheaney spent 13 years in the NBA before retiring and taking a job with the Golden State Warriors in the front office as a special assistant in 2009-10. He then spent a year as an assistant coach with the Warriors under former Indiana great Keith Smart before joining the Hoosiers as the director of basketball operations — a non-coaching position — in 2011.
Cheaney had the option to move up to take an assistant coaching job with the Hoosiers before the 2012-13 season when then-assistant Bennie Seltzer left for Samford, but opted to stay in the director of operations spot. The Hoosiers hired Kenny Johnson to fill that position. Cheaney said at the time he wasn’t quite ready to make the move, but apparently felt more comfortable with the responsibilities of an assistant a year later.
Indiana is likely to look outside the program for Cheaney’s replacement.