With the hiring of Tom Thiobdeau, the Celtics have their assistant coaches in place for this coming season. The head coach gets most of the headlines and we don't hear a lot about the assistants for the most part. I will be posting a series of articles to help Celtics fans get to know who the assistant coaches are for this coming season. First up is Kevin Eastman.
Kevin Eastman was originally hired as a Celtics' assistant on September 15, 2004. He left the Celtics to take a position with Nike as their National Director of Skills. After 2 years, he returned to the Celtics as an assistant coach, desiring to be back in the team atmosphere.
Kevin brings a rich history of experience at all levels to the team. Eastman is a 1978 graduate of the University of Richmond, where he played college basketball. Eastman also earned a degree in Athletic Administration from Richmond in 1989. He began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater the University of Richmond from 1978-80. He was assistant coach for Colorado State University from 1980-83. He coached at Virginia Commonwealth from 1983-85 and he spent his second stint as an assistant coach at the University of Richmond for the 1985-86 season.
After these years as an assistant coach, Eastman served as head coach and athletic director at Belmont Abbey College from 1986-1989. He then went on to become an assistant coach at the University of Tulsa for the 1989-90 season. He then spent four seasons as head coach at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Eastman then spent five seasons from 1994-1999 as head coach at Washington State University.
He has both owned and conducted Kevin Eastman Basketball Camps since 1999 along with producing several teaching videos including Multiple Player Chair Drills, Intense Shooting Drills, and Six Keys to Quality Skills Development. He posted his Six Keys to Quality Shooting Work on the Celtics website not long after he was hired. His chair drills should come in handy for all those players Danny signs who can't guard a chair. Could be he had Yi in mind when putting this one out.
He spent the 2002-03 season serving as Randolph-Macon College's Athletic Director. Eastman has also been directing Nike's Skills Academy for the nation's elite players. This is billed to offer the best in individual skill development.
Here is a quote from Doc Rivers that is posted on Eastman's site for his basketball camp.
"He's perfected the individual workout, and I think he could be a great help to our young players. Brendan Surhr had mentioned him to me, and then he was brought in to work with a team my son is on. I was watching him and I thought, "Damn, this guy is good. He should be working for the Celtics..." Doc Rivers, Head Coach, Boston Celtics
Here is another quote about Kevin from his website:
"Kevin is one of the best at working with players to improve their skills. He has a tremendous grasp of X’s and O’s and loves sharing his knowledge with others. He has a passion for skill development."
As director of player development for the Celtics, Eastman is responsible for working with the young players on their skills, shooting, footwork, and defense. He is known for helping young players develop their fundamentals. It was reported that he was working with Rondo on his shot and we did see a marked improvement in his shot over the course of the year.
Eastman brings a great deal of experience to the position. He is very skilled at working with players individually on skills. This is much needed with the young players that are on the Celtics. He has been working with Rondo on his shot over this off season and hopefully we will see even more improvement in that area. He will also be needed to help the younger players like Pruitt and Wallace develop quickly to fill in the gaps around the big three.