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Toledo men's basketball adds staff, promotes others

06/30/2017, 12:00am EDT
By By BRIAN BUCKEY BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Ingram, Lauf both played for UT

The addition of two former players and the promotion of two assistants from within the program highlight the changes to the University of Toledo men’s basketball coaching staff for next season.

Jason Kalsow and Kyle Barlow have been promoted to associate head coach and assistant coach respectively, Justin Ingram will take over as director of basketball operations, and Jordan Lauf will be a graduate assistant coach.

“I love having former players around,” UT coach Tod Kowalczyk said. All of my assistant coaches played at a very high level. Jason Kalsow was a [Division III] national player of the year. Jeff Massey was a great player at Xavier and played professionally. Now we have a chance to bring back Justin Ingram, a Rocket hall of famer and one of the best point guards ever to play here.

“And Jordan Lauf, when we recruited him, we talked about him being a [graduate assistant] for me.”

The moves on the coaching staff were set in motion after DeAndre Haynes left for Illinois State to join Dan Muller’s staff after one year as an assistant at Toledo.

Kalsow, a former star player at Wisconsin-Stevens Point, has been an assistant for Kowalczyk for 10 seasons and adds the title of associate head coach.

“He’s really been that for the last five years, but he didn’t have the title for it, which is a little bit of a formality,” Kowalczyk said.

“He’s been my top assistant for the last five years and been with me for 10 years. He’s just a guy that is my right-hand man — and a guy I think the world of.”

Kalsow was an assistant for two years under Kowalczyk at Green Bay before coming to UT before the 2011-12 season.

“I want to thank coach Kowalczyk for this promotion, and I am happy to assume this new position,” Kalsow said. “The support our program receives from the university and community is tremendous, and I look forward to helping continue our success into the future.”

Joining Kalsow in a coaching role will be Barlow, who has served as the Rockets’ director of operations the last three years.

“In my three years here, I have fallen in love with the University of Toledo and built lifelong relationships with our current and former players,” Barlow said.

Barlow will have more responsibilities coaching and recruiting, something that Kowalczyk believes he is ready for next season.

“Kyle is a very, very bright basketball coach,” Kowalczyk said. “He understands the game at a very high level. He is someone that has impacted our program over the last three years. He’s been extremely hard-working, and very loyal, and is deserving of this opportunity for a promotion.”

Replacing Barlow on the UT staff is Ingram, an all-time Rocket great who spent this past season as an associate head coach at Olivet (Mich.) College.

“I’m extremely excited to be coming back to the University of Toledo,” Ingram said.

“This has always been and will always be home. I appreciate coach Kowalczyk for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great program, and I’m looking forward to learning so much under his tutelage.”

Ingram was a first-team all-Mid American Conference performer during his senior season, and he played professionally in France, Hungary, Estonia, Greece, and Switzerland.

“He played 10 years professionally and adds a lot of value to our program,” Kowalczyk said. “I think he will really help us connect with former players. He’s a guy this community is very fond of, and he’s a guy that could be a really good coach.”

Lauf, a former Napoleon star, will make the transition to coaching after averaging 8.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last year in his senior season at UT.

“It’s an honor to join coach Kowalczyk’s staff as a graduate assistant,” Lauf said. “I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can about the coaching profession over the next two years and can’t wait to get started.”

On top of his coaching responsibilities, Lauf will also have the opportunity to get his MBA from Toledo.

“I’m excited to have him come back and learn the profession,” Kowalczyk said. “He’s going to do a great job of helping our players adjust.”

Contact Brian Buckey at: bbuckey@theblade.com or 419-724-6110 or on Twitter @BrianBuckey.

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