Greenville, S.C. -- Niko Medved has been named Furman University's new head men's basketball coach, director of athletics Dr. Gary Clark announced on Friday afternoon.
A native of St. Paul, Minn., and former Furman assistant, Medved takes the reigns of the Paladin basketball program after spending the past six seasons as an assistant coach at Colorado State University, where he helped guide the Rams to four consecutive postseason appearances, including back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 and 2013.
"We are excited that Niko Medved is rejoining the Furman community as our new men's basketball coach," said Clark. "Niko knows Furman and the Greenville community and will make an immediate impact on our program. His experience in rebuilding Colorado State basketball will serve him well as we re-launch Furman basketball."
"I am thrilled to be the head coach at Furman University," said Medved, who served as an assistant coach for the Paladins for seven seasons from 2000-06. "This is an exciting time to be at Furman; it is an outstanding university with tremendous leadership in President Smolla and Dr. Clark. This is a homecoming for my wife and me. Greenville is a beautiful community with great people, and we couldn't be happier to return to the Upstate. I have high expectations for the program, and I look forward to leading Furman basketball to new heights."
Medved will be introduced to the Furman and Greenville community on Tuesday, April 16, in a 4 p.m. press conference at the Younts Center on campus. All fans and alumni are invited to attend and welcome Coach Medved to Furman.
During his time as an assistant at Colorado State, Medved helped engineer a complete revitalization of the Rams basketball program as part of head coach Tim Miles' staff. After going 7-25 in 2008 and 9-22 the following season, Medved's recruiting and player development paid dividends as the Rams posted a 16-16 mark in 2010 to secure a berth in the College Basketball Invitational. A 19-13 record the next season led to a NIT trip before Colorado State fashioned a 20-12 season in 2011-12 to notch the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003 and its first 20-win campaign since 1998.
Working under head coach Larry Eustachy in 2012-13, Medved and the Rams posted a 26-9 record, finished second in the Mountain West Conference and earned Colorado State's first back-to-back NCAA Tournament trips since 1990. The No. 8 seeded Rams ousted Missouri in their tournament opener before falling to eventual national champion Louisville in the round of 32. The 2013 Rams set a school record for wins (26), led the MWC in scoring during league play, ranked first in the nation in rebounding margin and earned the school its first top 25 ranking in the Associated Press poll since 1954.
Medved's recruiting efforts produced numerous standout players during his six years in Fort Collins, Colo., including 2013 honorable mention AP All-American and first team All-Mountain West Conference choice Colton Iverson, 2013 Mountain West Conference Sixth Man of the Year Daniel Bejarano, second team All-MWC pick Dorian Green, third team all-league selection Pierce Hornung, 2012 first team All-MWC guard Wes Eikmeier and two-time all-league performer Andy Ogide.
Prior to Colorado State, Medved spent one season at the University of Minnesota where he was involved in all aspects of the program, including recruiting, scouting, player development and fundraising.
Preceding his year at Minnesota, he spent seven seasons as an assistant at Furman under head coach Larry Davis and served as the school's interim head coach in the spring of 2006. Medved was instrumental in helping rebuild a struggling Paladin program that had posted just five winning seasons in 19 years before his arrival. Furman registered winning seasons in each of Medved's last three years in Greenville and four of the final five seasons. He helped the Paladins reach their first Southern Conference championship game in over 20 years in 2002, and the school achieved its first winning record in league play in 23 years during the 2004-05 campaign. Medved helped the Paladins recruit the highest-scoring freshman class in the country in 2004, which included future 1,000-point scorers Robby Bostain, Moussa Diagne and Eric Webb.
Medved started his career at the University of Minnesota in 1992, where he was a student manager and assistant. He also served as the associate head coach at Macalester College from 1997-1999 and worked four years as an instructor at the prestigious Nike All-America camp. He completed his B.S. in kinesiology in 1997 and his master's in sport management in 1999, both from the University of Minnesota.
In August 2011, Medved married the former Erica Nesselroad of Morgantown, W.Va. Nesselroad, a Furman graduate, played three seasons as a member of the Paladin softball team.
Fans can keep up with Coach Medved on Twitter by following @coachNikoMedved.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT FURMAN'S NIKO MEDVED...
"We were looking for a coach who was a passionate educator, a person who understands Furman's commitment to academic excellence, and who understands that academic excellence and athletic excellence are not incompatible goals. Niko will recruit nationally and internationally for the highest quality student-athletes. Under his leadership we will re-launch Furman men's basketball, connect again with our student body, faculty, staff, and community, play an exciting up-tempo game, and consistently compete for the conference championship and participation in the NCAA tournament. We look forward to having people all over the country writing "Furman" in their March Madness brackets."
"As great of a recruiter as Coach Medved is acknowledge to be, he is also an outstanding basketball coach. All of the players that helped us make our run to the NCAA Tournament were his recruits, and he showed the loyalty to stay at Colorado State and see them through. He has also been in charge of our offense, which led the Mountain West Conference in scoring during league play this past season. He'll be a great fit at Furman."
Colorado State University
"Niko Medved has been a big part of the resurgence of Colorado State basketball. He's respected by his colleagues, loved by his players and he'll be deeply missed by our community. We wish him nothing but success at Furman – they've just hired a great coach and a wonderful man."
Anthony A. Frank
Colorado State University
"Niko is a terrific hire for Furman! He is the total package. Niko can coach, recruit, and manage all aspects of a basketball program. He knows how to build a lasting winner. His energy, enthusiasm and intelligence will resonate with players and fans alike. I am excited for Niko, his wife Erica, and Furman. The future is bright."
University of Nebraska
"Niko Medved is an outstanding choice for Furman University. With his familiarity with the culture there, and his strong background in coaching and recruiting, the Furman men's basketball program will make strong improvements. Most importantly, after going through an adverse situation with me at Minnesota, he certainly has the character to meet this challenge."
Western Illinois University