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Barnes announces three promotions for its staff
Barnes announces three promotions for its staff

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Tennessee Rick Barnes announced on Wednesday the promotion of three members of his staff.

Lucas Campbell And Bryan Lentz were promoted to assistant coach, while Riley Collins was appointed Assistant Director of Player Development.

Campbell, a Knoxville native and dual graduate of Tennessee State University, is entering his third year as Barnes’ second staff member. This will be his ninth season in the Volunteer basketball program, dating back to the 2015-16 season, making him a full-time player in all but one season of Barnes’ tenure.

“Over nearly a decade, I have watched Lucas grow from an eager walk-on freshman in my first season here at Tennessee to a rising star in the coaching profession,” Barnes said. “This school and this basketball program mean so much to Lucas. He has been a key part of our team the past two years and has played a major role in our intense recruiting efforts, which he will continue to do while taking on additional responsibilities that I’m sure he is ready for.”

The Christian Academy of Knoxville graduate played as a walk-on for the Volunteers from 2015-19, Barnes’ first four years at the helm, helping the team to the SEC regular-season title in 2018 and the Sweet 16 in 2019. He then served as a graduate assistant from 2019-2021 before transferring to East Tennessee State University, where he served as director of basketball operations in 2021-22.

Campbell returned to his alma mater as director of recruiting in June 2022. For the past two years, he coordinated all aspects of Tennessee’s recruiting efforts, from logistical elements of campus visits to bus trips and more.

During his eight seasons at Tennessee, Campbell was part of two SEC regular-season titles, five NCAA Tournament appearances, three Sweet 16 berths, an Elite Eight trip and four AP top-20 finishes. The Volunteers compiled a 175-93 (.653) record during that time.

Lentz enters his seventh season at Tennessee, the second school where he has worked under Barnes. He served as the Volunteers’ director of player development for six years since arriving in Rocky Top in May 2018.

“Bryan has a strong understanding of basketball and has nearly a quarter century of coaching experience,” Barnes said. “His passion for helping the young men in our program become the absolute best they can be, both on and off the court, is unrivaled. We had a lot of success together, both during his first six seasons at Tennessee and before that at Texas, and I know he will help our program continue its upward trajectory in his new role.”

Like Barnes, Lentz is a native of Hickory, North Carolina, and a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University, where he earned All-Conference honors. He began his coaching career at his alma mater, working under his father, John, the Bears’ head coach. Lentz was an assistant coach from 2001-2008 and associate head coach from 2008-2010.

From 2010 to 2014, Lentz worked for Barnes at the University of Texas. He served as the Longhorns’ special assistant/video coordinator for four years, helping the team to an 88-51 (.633) record, three NCAA Tournament appearances and an AP top-10 finish.

Lentz left Texas in 2014 for Appalachian State University, where he spent four seasons as an assistant coach for the Mountaineers. Since reuniting with Barnes at Tennessee in 2018, the Volunteers are 145-57 (.718) with five NCAA Tournament appearances, three Sweet 16 trips, one Elite Eight appearance, four AP top-20 finishes, one SEC regular-season championship and one SEC Tournament trophy.

Collins enters his third season at Tennessee after serving as an assistant in 2022-23 and 2023-24. The Volunteers won over 25 games in each of his first two seasons and reached the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, including winning the SEC regular-season title and reaching the Elite Eight last season.

“From the first day he arrived in Tennessee, Riley has made his presence felt at our facility,” Barnes said. “He is a tireless worker who gives everything he can to this program every day. After watching how Riley has helped our program over the past two years, it was clear that he deserved a full-time position and I am thrilled that he accepted this opportunity.”

A native of Lacey, NJ, Collins is a graduate of Drew University, where he set a school record with 1,973 points and earned Reese’s All-America status in 2020. He was selected to the First Team All-Landmark Conference four times and was a team captain three times.

From 2019 to 2022, Collins was the head coach of the New Jersey Panthers, an AAU team that he led to the league title in 2020. From 2020 to 2022, he worked as a graduate assistant at Marymount University and also has experience assisting NBA players with skills development training sessions.

Entering the 2024-25 season, the entire full-time Tennessee men’s basketball team will remain unchanged. This is the second consecutive offseason in which none of these players have elected to leave Rocky Top.

To stay up to date with the University of Tennessee basketball team on social media, follow @Vol_Hoops on Instagram and X/Twitter and /tennesseebasketball on Facebook.

By Liam