Ridder announces three promotions to UT Martin Skyhawks men’s hoops coaching staff

 Ridder announces three promotions to UT Martin Skyhawks men’s hoops coaching staff

Second-year head coach Ryan Ridder announced Friday that a trio of UT Martin men’s basketball coaching staff members have earned new job titles for the upcoming season.

Assistant coach Erik Buggs has taken on the role of recruiting coordinator while Dantiel Daniels (special assistant to the head coach) and Deonte Johnson (director of player development) have additionally been elevated.

“Erik, Dantiel and Deonte have put in the work and deserve to be recognized for their dedication to Skyhawk basketball,” Ridder said. “They have fully bought in to all aspects of our program and are leaders on and off the court. These moves ensure continuity for our staff moving forward – we couldn’t be happier to keep these three on board.”

A Memphis native, Buggs is entering his second season on the UT Martin coaching staff in 2022-23. He spent five years coaching at the high school level in the state of Tennessee following a standout playing career at Valparaiso, where he ranked in the top-10 in program history in games played (138), assists (425) and steals (157). He played professionally in Switzerland and Chile for parts of four years after graduating from Valparaiso in 2013. He obtained his Master’s degree in 2020 from Memphis.

The 2022-23 campaign will also be the second year on staff for Daniels, who hails from Wentzville, Missouri. He owned collegiate experience as an assistant coach and a graduate assistant before joining UT Martin last summer as the director of basketball operations. After an impressive playing career at Southern Illinois (2011-13) and Colorado State (2014-16), he played professionally in Finland, Uruguay and China from 2016-19. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State in 2016 and earned his Master’s degree two years later from the same institution.

Johnson will be in his seventh overall season with the Skyhawk program in 2022-23 as he served as a graduate manager last year. The Kansas City native has worked under four different UT Martin head coaches during his tenure, aiding individual skill workouts and helping in the development of the Skyhawks’ four All-OVC first teamers, six All-OVC second team honorees and six All-OVC Newcomers since 2015. He is a two-time graduate of UT Martin, earning his bachelor’s degree in 2018 and his Master’s degree this past May.