LITTLE ROCK - UALR head men's basketball coach Steve Shields announced the hiring of Kerry Darting today as the program's new Director of Basketball Operations. Darting joins Shields' staff after spending the previous five seasons as the Director of Basketball Operations at Illinois State, where he helped the Redbirds to three-straight National Invitation Tournament appearances (2008-10).
"Kerry brings a wealth of experience to the position, comes from a coaching family and understands the profession. All of those things should help make for a smooth transition," said Shields. "I know he's eager to get started, and we're anxious to get him here. Every operations position differs from staff to staff, but they all have the same core, and the fact that he has five years of experience in that role will be a huge benefit to our program."
Darting joined Illinois State's staff prior to the 2007-08 season after six seasons at Missouri-Rolla, where he earned a bachelor's degree in education in 2004. A three-year letterman at Missouri-Rolla, Darting was one of the top three-point shooters in school history in his three seasons with the Miners. A native of Silver Lake, Kan., Darting transferred to Missouri-Rolla after one year at Kansas State and made 208 three pointers in three seasons as a Miner - good enough for fourth all-time at UMR.
As a senior in 2003-04, Darting led the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in made three pointers per game (3.3) while averaging just over 11 points. He connected on 44.8 percent of his three-point attempts (90-of-201) to rank second in the MIAA and finish in the top-25 nationally in the final NCAA Division II rankings.
Following his senior year, Darting served as a student assistant coach during the 2004-05 season while finishing up his bachelor's degree. He was promoted to a full-time assistant coaching position in July of 2005, and spent the next two years on staff at UMR before heading to Illinois State prior to the 2007-08 season. In addition to his game-day responsibilities at ISU, he served as the liaison to the Karin Bone Athletics Study Center, while also overseeing community service and film exchange.
His duties at UALR will include overseeing student-athlete academics and living arrangements, team travel accommodations, video exchange and working as the liaison between the team and community outreach programs. Darting replaces Chris Lowry, who left the program in July after six seasons with the Trojans to accept an assistant coaching position at Cleburne (Texas) High School.