Leathernecks welcome Irvin as assistant men’s basketball coach

By KENNEDY WILLIAMS, Sports Director

MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) – Chicago basketball royalty, Nick Irvin, joins Rob Jeter as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Western Illinois University. 

“I chose Western because my father and I always talked about several state schools, and he used to ask me ‘if the time came, would you coach at Western Illinois?’ And I would always say that’s a no brainer,” Irvin said. 

Irvin, the 2020 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year, has joined the Leathernecks after twelve seasons (2008-2020) as head coach of the Morgan Park Mustangs, in Chicago, Illinois. He led the Mustangs to four IHSA Class 3A state championships in 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018, ten straight regional championships, and one Public League City Championship in Chicago. 

Irvin’s record at Morgan Park was an impressive 301-70, averaging 20 wins a season. 

Looking to turn WIU basketball around, Irvin looks forward to helping WIU men’s basketball to establish a winning culture. 

“I try to find the right fit of players and kids that want to play for Coach Jeter,” Irvin said. “We just have to change the mindset of the people that think Western Illinois Men’s Basketball is not good, and we are going to work extremely hard to get Western on the map.” 

Irvin brings three players with him from Morgan Park. Marcus Watson, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Tamell Pearson, and Cameron Burrell, Highland Community College,  to join the Leathernecks. 

Both being from the south side of Chicago, Jeter and Irvin, have formed a brotherhood over the years.

“Rob and I have been knowing each other for a long time. He is a great person on and off the floor, and I look forward to learning from him,” Irvin said. “A lot of people respect him and he won everywhere he went.”

While Irvin has had a successful career thus far, he looks forward to broadening his horizons with the Leathernecks.

“I am just going to look forward to coaching college basketball in general,” Irvin said. “That was one of my lifelong dreams. For me, it is about making my parents proud by doing the right thing, because I know they are in heaven looking down.”