Smart adds two to VCU staff

The Virginia Commonwealth University men’s basketball program welcomed two new members to its family on Wednesday with head coach Shaka Smart announcing the additions of Jamion Christian and Michael Morrell to his coaching staff.

Christian comes to the Black & Gold sidelines after spending the past three years at William & Mary, while Morrell will serve as the Director of Basketball Operations and joins the Rams after spending last year as an assistant coach at Charleston Southern.

“We are extremely excited about Jamion and Mike joining our staff,” Smart said. “Both are highly talented young coaches, who come from strong backgrounds of success.”

A native of New Kent, Va., Christian takes over for Mike Jones, who was named the Head Coach at Radford University last week. In three seasons with the Tribe, he helped usher in a new era of basketball. The Tribe made their second postseason appearance ever in 2010 and recorded the third most wins in school history with 22.

On the recruiting trail, he aided in the Tribe’s 2010 recruiting class that was ranked among the best in “Mid-Major” classes in the country and the best in the CAA by ESPN.com and Scouts, Inc. During his time with William & Mary, Christian’s main recruiting areas were Virginia, Texas and the Washington, D.C. region.

Prior to his time with the Tribe, he spent two seasons as the Director of Basketball Operations at Bucknell University and two seasons as an assistant coach at Emory & Henry. As a player, Christian was a three-year captain at Mount St. Mary’s, scoring nearly 600 points in 90 career games for the Mountaineers.

He earned his degree from Mount St. Mary’s in rhetoric and communications in 2004.

“I am extremely excited, yet humbled with the opportunity to join Coach Smart, his great staff and the VCU community,” Christian said. “I am looking forward to continuing in the mission and the standard of greatness that Coach Smart sets for our program each day.”

Morrell and Smart have a history together, working side-by-side during the 2007-08 campaign at Clemson on Oliver Purnell’s staff. This past season, the Tennessee native was Charleston Southern’s academic and scouting coordinator, and handled the recruiting duties in the southern part of the country.

As a part of the VCU basketball family, Morrell will handle the operations side, overseeing team travel, scheduling, supervising the graduate and student managers and much more. He takes over for Kyle Getter, who was named an assistant on Mike Jones’ staff at Radford.

Morrell served in the same capacity from 2008-10 at Clemson, helping the Tigers to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Prior to Clemson, Morrell spent two years at Kings College in Bristol, Tenn. Serving as an assistant, he helped guide the Tornadoes to one of the best season’s in school history in 2006-07, posting a 23-11 overall mark.

Morrell was quite an athlete himself, playing four years of basketball and four years of golf at Milligan College in northeast Tennessee. He scored over 1,400 points during his basketball career, a number that still ranks among the top-10 in school history.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Milligan in 2005.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to come to VCU and rejoin Coach Smart,” Morrell said. “I have great respect for him as well as the entire VCU basketball program. I’m looking forward to getting to work and helping this program continue the great tradition that is VCU basketball.”

The duo joins Smart, assistants Will Wade and Mike Rhoades, strength coach Daniel Roose and video coordinator Donny Lind on the sidelines for the Black & Gold.



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.