“Mike is a little bit of an out-of-the-box hire but I see so much of our game heading towards an NBA style and his experiences with some of the best coaches in the game, like Gregg Popovich and Rudy Tomjanovich, will prove extremely valuable,” said Heath. “I believe his development through the NBA system will help our team become more innovative and creative both offensively and defensively. Additionally, his time spent on the floor working with NBA players will make our players very excited as they go about reaching their goals individually. He’s going to be a very valuable asset and will play an integral role on this staff.”
Wells comes to Tampa after two seasons in Fairfax under George Mason head coach Paul Hewitt. Prior to getting back into the collegiate level, Wells had an extensive NBA coaching career for 17 seasons that featured two NBA Championships. In addition, he served as the head scout for the USA Basketball senior national team for four summers, including the gold-medal winning team at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Wells’ NBA career began in 1995 with the eventual NBA Champion Houston Rockets (1995-2004) where he worked his way up from assistant video coordinator to assistant coach. From there he went on to fill the same position with the Los Angeles Lakers (2004-05) under Rudy Tomjanovich before spending four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs (2005-09) that featured the 2007 NBA Championship title. He wrapped up his time in the NBA with the Washington Wizards (2009-11).
Wells and Tomjanovich also worked together during his time as the head scout for Team USA (1998-2003) where he helped produce not only the gold-medal team for the 2000 Summer Olympics, but the bronze-medal team at the 1998 FIBA World Championships and the squads for the 1999 and 2003 Pre Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.
A 1993 graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene, Wells played two seasons for the Cougars before earning his degree in Sports Management, then served as an assistant coach for two seasons while obtaining his Master’s Degree in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy. He and his wife, Jacqueline, have two sons, Trenton and Troy.