Rod Strickland is in his second season as an assistant coach for USF men’s basketball.
Strickland came to USF after spending the last six seasons with Orlando Antigua at Memphis and Kentucky. Prior to USF, he served as special assistant to the head coach for John Calipari at Kentucky from 2009-14, the same time Antigua was an assistant coach with the Wildcats. During the five seasons in Lexington, Strickland was a member of teams that combined for four NCAA Tournaments, three final fours and one national championship (2012) with an overall record of 152-37.
Strickland was on Calipari’s staff at Memphis as well from 2006-09. He was the director of student-athlete development/manager for two seasons and in 2008 was named director of basketball operations for the Tigers. As director of basketball operations, Strickland monitored academics, coordinated recruiting visits and assisted with travel plans.
With Strickland on staff, Memphis posted a 104-10 record and continued to dominate Conference USA. In his three seasons with the Tigers, the team won three consecutive C-USA regular season and tournament titles. Memphis reached the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and advanced to the Elite Eight in 2007. In 2008, the Tigers competed in the NCAA Tournament championship game and set the NCAA Division I record for victories in a single season with a 38-2 record.
Prior to Memphis, the New York City native enjoyed a 17-year NBA career. The 6-foot-3 guard was an NBA first-round draft pick of the New York Knicks in 1988 and played for New York, San Antonio, Portland, Washington, Miami, Minnesota, Orlando, Toronto and Houston during his career. Strickland played in 1,094 games and scored 14,463 points (13.2 per game) and dished out 7,987 assists (7.3 per game). The 1997-98 campaign with Washington was Strickland’s best, as he averaged a double-double with 17.8 points and 10.5 assists. His 10.5 assist average led the NBA that year and he was selected to the All-NBA second team. That year, Strickland also became only the 25th player in NBA history to record 10,000 points and 5,000 assists. He also ranked among the NBA’s top 10 in assists in the 1991-92 (fifth), 1993-94 (sixth, 1994-95 (fifth) and 1995-96 (fourth) seasons.
Prior to his time in the NBA, Strickland enjoyed a stellar career at DePaul. A 1987 and 1988 All-America pick, Strickland helped lead the Blue Demons to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1985-88, including Sweet Sixteen showings in 1986 and 1987. The three-time Blue Demon letterwinner ranks among the program’s career leaders in scoring average (eighth; 16.6 ppg), assists (third; 557) and steals (second; 204).
In September of 2008, Strickland was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. During the summer of 2013, he earned a degree in sports leadership from Northeastern Illinois. Strickland and his wife, Cheryl, have four children; Torin, Tai, Terell and Tanner.