Iowa men's basketball hires program standout Matt Gatens as new assistant coach

Iowa men's basketball's search for a new assistant coach ended Thursday.

Coach Fran McCaffery had to replace two assistants in the same off-season for the first time in his 12-year tenure. In April, he hired internally with Courtney Eldridge to replace Billy Taylor. Now, he's tabbed a former Hawkeye to replace Kirk Speraw. 

Iowa hired Matt Gatens to round out its 2022-23 coaching staff, the school announced. Gatens, an Iowa City native, completed his first season as an assistant coach with Drake last season; before that, he served as the program's director of operations. 

"“I am thrilled and truly honored to be rejoining the Iowa men’s basketball program,” Gatens said in a news release. “I have an incredible amount of respect for what coach McCaffery, his staff and players have built in Iowa City. It’s a privilege to now work for my former coach and someone who I have looked up to since he started here 12 years ago.

Matt Gatens

"I’m looking forward to representing Hawkeye Nation and competing for championships in a place that I call home. I can’t wait to proudly wear the Black and Gold once again.”

Gatens was one of McCaffery's earliest leaders. Gatens was a four-year starter and ranks 10th all-time in scoring (1,635) and third in 3-pointers (239).

Gatens, 31, is the youngest assistant that McCaffery has hired during his tenure. As a former Iowa City High standout, Gatens' local presence is expected to be a boost for in-state recruiting. 

Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men's basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at