June 17, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. -
Chicago native Todd Townsend, a former assistant coach at Northeastern and director of basketball operations at Marquette, was added to the Northern Illinois men's basketball staff Wednesday, head coach Ricardo Patton announced. Townsend, who will serve as an assistant coach, replaces former associate head coach Dennis Gates, who accepted a similar position at Nevada.
"Coach (Todd) Townsend comes highly recommended from a number of high school and AAU coaches in Chicago and its surrounding areas," said Patton. "He brings a wealth of experience, and an understanding of what it takes to advance to the Final Four. I think that is a great story that both our current and future players will be motivated by. We're excited to have him on board."
Townsend served as an assistant coach at Northeastern during the 2007-08 season under head coach Bill Coen. Those Huskies advanced to the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament during that campaign.
Prior to his stint at Northeastern, Townsend served two years as the director of basketball operations at his alma mater, Marquette. As an assistant to then head coach Tom Crean, he was part of a coaching staff that guided the Golden Eagles to two-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, a 20-12 BIG EAST Conference record, and a combined record of 44-21 in back-to-back 20-win campaigns.
"I'm extremely excited about this opportunity. This program is heading in a great direction, and I wanted to be a part of that," Townsend said. "Ricardo Patton is a proven coach, and I'm learning more each day how special of an individual he is. DeKalb is a great place to recruit to, and I'm looking forward to becoming a member of both the community and the NIU family."
With the Golden Eagles, Townsend served as the director of Marquette's basketball camps and organized the team's community service and outreach activities, in addition to monitoring the academic success of MU's student-athletes.
Playing alongside Chicago native and current Miami Heat standout Dwayne Wade, Townsend helped Marquette win 91 games during his four seasons as a player. He received the Hank Raymonds Sportsmanship Award, the Most Improved Player honor, and was a two-time Bart Miller Standard of Excellence Award winner.
Townsend played 114 games for Marquette, and started all 33 contests during the team's Final Four run in 2003. He also captained the Golden Eagles his senior season in 2005. Townsend graduated from Marquette in May 2005, with a bachelor's degree in Communications Studies.
As an undergraduate, Townsend was a Boys and Girls Club volunteer, an NCAA Leadership Conference participant, and a Student-Athlete Advisory Council representative. Prior to enrolling at Marquette, Townsend attended New Hampton Prep School in New Hampshire for one year (2000-01), where he served as team captain.
At New Hampton, Townsend was a teammate of the Minnesota Timberwolves' Rashad McCants, and helped his team to a record of 21-7 by averaging 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per contest.
Townsend graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., where he helped the Trevians to the Class AA quarterfinals in his senior season. He also spent three years at Chicago Morgan Park. Townsend earned Special Mention Honors on the 1999-2000 Chicago Tribune All-State Team. On the AAU circuit, Townsend was a teammate of former NBA performer Darius Miles with the Illinois Warriors.