Missouri basketball assistant Corey Tate heads to Saint Louis

St. Louis Eagles president Tim Holloway: “One would say from the outside looking in that something is going on.”
Missouri Tigers basketball coach Kim Anderson watches the action from the bench during the game against the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks on Dec. 9 at the Mizzou Arena. The Tigers won 85-78 and have gone 2-3 since.

Missouri men's basketball assistant coach Corey Tate will leave the Tigers for an assistant position at Saint Louis University. It was announced by SLU Friday that he will take a job under Billiken head coach Travis Ford.

Tate, who was hired in June 2015, to replace former Missouri assistant coach Tim Fuller, played for former Missouri coach Norm Stewart from 1994–97 and came to Missouri from Mineral Area College, where he was the head coach for 11 seasons.

“Congratulations to Corey Tate on his move back to the St. Louis area, where his family has continued to live during his time on the Mizzou Basketball coaching staff,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said in a statement on Friday. “We appreciate Coach Tate’s efforts while back home at his alma mater, the flagship institution of our great state. Our program has made steady progress this summer in preparation for the 2016–17 season, and also for our upcoming foreign tour in Italy.

“We will identify a new member of our coaching staff that is prepared to tackle the challenges of coaching and recruiting in the Southeastern Conference, while continuing to be a strong mentor and role model for our student-athletes.”

Friday evening, as he was getting off of work, Tim Holloway, president of the St. Louis Eagles AAU organization that plays on Nike’s EYBL circuit, said he was “speechless” when he first heard the news. Holloway’s relationship with Tate dates back to Tate’s time as the coach of the 17U St. Louis Eagles team that included former Chaminade High School forwards Jayson Tatum and Tyler Cook, who are headed to Duke and Iowa, respectively.

Holloway said he had not yet talked to Tate as of 6 p.m., but was planning to do so and said, “knowing Corey, it was probably a tough decision but one that was best for him and his family,” while much of Tate’s family still lives in St. Louis.

Many wondered at the time of Tate’s hiring whether he’d be able to lure players like Tatum and Cook, as well as other St. Louis talent, but Missouri was unable to. That said, Holloway said “that was not to be expected.”

“To people who thought that, I would ask these questions: How long was he there? Do you understand the recruiting cycle and high profile basketball players of today and what it takes to get guys like those?” Holloway said.

Holloway maintained he had not talked to Tate, but did speak of SLU’s Ford and Missouri’s men’s basketball program. Of Ford, he said, “I’m shocked, but he’s an aggressive guy. He’s at SLU to make a difference at the university, in the community and he’s there to find a way to win.”

On Missouri, Holloway said: “One would say from the outside looking in that something is going on. It’s hard to put a finger on it, and I’m not there so I don’t really know. I think Mizzou is a great university, and I’m not saying that just to say it. I look at all the former players that come back and speak to the kids and there’s a lot of good stuff going on there, but for whatever reason, it seems to be a place where people are hitting and missing and coming and going pretty rapidly over these last six to eight months. Course, if you look around the country, that’s probably more common than you’d think.”

This move leaves a void in the Missouri coaching staff as the Tigers have just two assistants — Rob Fulford and Steve Shields. Brad Loos is also a current staffer and former full-time assistant handling noncoaching duties due to his daughter Rhyan’s battle with cancer.

Thus far, Anderson has not given a timetable to replace Tate, but the team is headed to Italy for a 10-day trip next Friday.

Edited by Peter Baugh | pbaugh@themaneater.com

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