Known as one of the most dynamic recruiters in the country, Ashley Howard enters his second season as La Salle University head men's basketball coach in 2019. Howard most recently spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Villanova, helping the Wildcats to a pair of National Championships.
During his tenure at Villanova, Howard was involved in all aspects of the Villanova program including on-court teaching, player development and recruiting. He was instrumental in helping the Wildcats win two NCAA National Championships and setting a new NCAA record for the most wins in a four-year span.
The Philadelphia native recruited future NBA Draft Picks Mikal Bridges (10th Overall, Phoenix Suns), Jalen Brunson (33rd Overall, Dallas Mavericks), Donte DiVincenzo (17th Overall, Milwaukee Bucks) and Omari Spellman (30th Overall, Atlanta Hawks). He was also a member of the coaching staff that developed Josh Hart into the National Player of the Year in 2016 and a first round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Prior to Villanova, Howard accrued a decade's worth of college coaching experience at three different stops. He began his coaching career as a student assistant coach at his alma mater, Drexel University, in 2002 after injury cut short his playing career for the Dragons.
In 2004, following graduation, Howard was hired as an assistant coach at La Salle by Dr. John Giannini. He spent four years with the Explorers before returning to Drexel in 2008 as an assistant coach to James "Bruiser" Flint. He was part of a staff that led the Dragons to consecutive 20-win seasons, including a school record 29 victories in 2011-12.
In 2012-13, Howard served as an assistant on Chris Mack's staff at Xavier University before landing back in his hometown with Villanova.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be named the head coach at La Salle University," Howard said after he was hired in April 2018. "I chose to coach at La Salle early in my career because of its incredible tradition in the Big 5, its dedication to athletic excellence and its commitment to its student-athletes. To have the opportunity to return to campus and lead this storied basketball program – a program defined by greats such as Gola, Durrett, Brooks, Simmons and Butler – is one for which I'm deeply appreciative."
Howard, who graduated from Drexel in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in communications, is the son of Maurice Howard and Diane Coleman. Maurice played college basketball at the University of Maryland and was a second round draft choice of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.
Before that he starred at Monsignor Bonner High School in Lansdowne, Delaware County, where he scored 41 points in a game and averaged 23.8 points per game as a senior. He is married to Ariana Casanovas and has a daughter, Journey, and a newborn son, Ace.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT ASHLEY HOWARD...
Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright
"Ashley is an outstanding coach who made a great impact on our program and University in his five years with us. His passion for mentoring young men and teaching skill has been invaluable in our team's development. La Salle has made a terrific selection and all of us at Villanova are thrilled for Ashley, Ariana and Journey as they embark on this new phase of Ash's career."
La Salle Men's Basketball Alum & Former NBA Player Lionel Simmons
"The hire is well deserved. Ashley put in his dues, he's a Philly guy and he deserves a shot. I think he's going to help us a lot. We have had some tough years as of late. The alumni are excited about the new hire and looking forward to Ashley turning us around. He's been involved in Philadelphia basketball forever, he brings a work ethic and an enthusiasm that can get the players motivated. That's going to be his main focus, to get the guys motivated and heading in the right direction."
Louisville Head Men's Basketball Coach Chris Mack
"I'm very happy to hear La Salle's hiring of my good friend Ashley Howard. Ash paid his dues as an assistant coach for many years. His latest experience as part of two National Championships will serve him well. He will do great things at La Salle!"
Former Villanova Standout & 2018 National Player of the Year Jalen Brunson
"Coach Ash helped me grow as a player and as a person. His ability to teach players the game of basketball and encourage them makes him very unique. Being coached by a great person makes relationships last a lifetime."
Kenny Johnson, Assistant Coach
Kenny Johnson, a nationally-recognized assistant who has spent nearly two decades as a mentor to youth basketball players, joined the La Salle University men's basketball staff as an assistant coach in May of 2018.
Johnson spent three seasons at Louisville, where he was elevated to associate head coach position following the 2015-16 season. Over that three-year period, the Cardinals won 75 games and advanced to the Elite Eight in 2015.
"I am thrilled to add Kenny Johnson to our coaching staff," said head coach Ashley Howard said. "Having the ability to hire a person and coach of Kenny Johnson's caliber is a home run for La Salle basketball and our campus community."
"Based on my personal relationship with Kenny," Howard added, "I know him to be an individual of the highest integrity, character, intelligence and experience in developing young men as players and people."
Johnson is known as a top recruiter on a national level. After surveying more than 60 collegiate coaches, ESPN Insider named Johnson as the nation's 10th best recruiting assistant coach in a 2016 listing.
He has been the lead recruiter with 22 signed prospects in six years as a collegiate coach, including five All-American selection: Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell, New York Knicks forward Troy Williams, Chicago Bulls forward Noah Vonleh, Louisville sophomore V.J. King and former Indiana standout James Blackmon, Jr.
Prior to his time in Kentucky, Johnson was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Indiana University for two years. While at Indiana, Johnson helped the Hoosiers produce two top 20 recruiting classes, including a top five class in 2013. On the court, Indiana had a combined record of 46-22, winning the Big Ten Championship, earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2013.
Johnson was an assistant coach at Towson for one season in 2011-12, helping to assemble a top five mid-major recruiting class. He began his coaching career in 2002 as the associate head coach at Eleanor Roosevelt High School before moving to Dr. Henry Wise High School in 2006 for one year (2006-07). He was associate head coach at Paul IV High School for four years (2007-11) before advancing to the collegiate ranks.
Johnson served six years as assistant director and head of travel and logistics for the Team Takeover AAU program and was the head coach of its 16 and under age group during that stint. The program produced a total of 53 Division I scholarship players during his stint there. His travel team tournament championships include the prestigious King James Classic (2009, 2010) and the Orlando National Super Showcase (2009).
In addition to his years as a camp coach at Eastern Invitational and Reebok Headliner Camp, Johnson was a guest clinician at the New England Basketball Coaching Clinic at Reebok Headquarters. He has also served as a camp and tournament director, beginning with the first Annual National High School Hoop Festival in 2007 and the first Annual DMV Basketball Coaching Clinic in 2008.
Johnson attended Oxon Hill (Md.) High School, where his playing career was cut short due to an injury in his second year of varsity basketball. As a senior at Oxon Hill in 1994, he was named Science and Technology Student of the Year.
He earned his bachelor's degree in cell, molecular biology and genetics in 1999 at the University of Maryland, where he was a Benjamin Banneker Scholarship recipient. He worked as a protein chemist/molecular biologist at Human Genome Sciences in Rockville, Md. after graduation.
A native of Oxon Hill, Md., Johnson and his wife, Doreen, have two sons, Amare (15) and Mekai (12).
Donnie Carr, one of the all-time great scorers in La Salle men’s basketball history, begins his third season as an assistant coach at his alma mater in 2019-20.
A star prep player at Roman Catholic High School, Carr compiled 1,470 points over the course of his career in Philadelphia’s highly competitive Catholic League. In a legendary game against Lower Merion, Carr dropped 34 points on eventual 18-time NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant to lead the Cahillites to a 67-61 win.
In his first season with the Explorers in 1996-97, Carr was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year as he averaged 23.9 points per contest to pace the league and rank sixth in the country.
Carr led the team in scoring as a sophomore (18.0 ppg) and junior (18.7 ppg), and finished in the A-10’s top four in scoring all four of his seasons. His 19.7 career points per game average is third in A-10 history among players who played in the league for more than one year.
The four-time First Team All-Big 5 honoree is one of only six players in school history to eclipse the 2,000-point plateau, registering 2,067 points over his four-year career with the Explorers. He also ranks second in school history with 308 three-pointers and compiled 404 assists to stand ninth in the category.
“It is an honor to have La Salle and Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Famer Donnie Carr as a member of our coaching staff,” Howard said upon retaining Carr on the coaching staff. “Donnie is a prominent figure in the Philadelphia basketball community, and has dedicated his life to being a great player, a great mentor and a great teacher of the game of basketball. Donnie’s knowledge of the game and life experience is going to help make him a valuable contributor to our coaching staff.”
Following his outstanding collegiate career, Carr went on to play professionally in Turkey and France before injuries forced him to retire from the game in 2004. He played for Turk Telecom, annually one of the top teams in Turkey, and in France for Becanson in 2001-02.
“I’m blessed and thankful to have a chance to work with Coach Howard, who I think is one of the best young coaches in all of college basketball and is a rising star in this business,” Carr said. “There’s not a better person for me to learn from and grow with than Coach Howard. He’s been a mentor, a friend, and it’s a grand slam for La Salle to have someone bringing a championship culture and blueprint to our University.”
An active participant in the Sonny Hill League, Carr played a vital role in the maturation of a number of Philadelphia’s young basketball stars including Dion Waiters (Miami Heat) and former Explorer Rasual Butler.
Prior to returning to La Salle, Carr spent two seasons at Hartford as the coordinator for player development, assisting in the improvement of players through film and statistical analysis.
He has also enjoyed successful stints as an assistant coach with Holy Family University, The Haverford School and at Roman Catholic. In addition, he was the head coach of Philadelphia’s Team Final Under-15 team and served as an assistant on the U-18 squad.
Kyle Griffin begins his second season as an assistant coach at La Salle in 2019-20. Griffin, who was a La Salle student-athlete for one season, previously spent two seasons as an assistant at Robert Morris.
A native of Allentown, Pa., Griffin was a standout prep player at Germantown Academy, where he was named Inter-AC Player of the Year and Second Team All-Philadelphia as a senior. A 6-3 guard, he played 15 games as an Explorer in 2007-08 before transferring to Siena where he finished his collegiate career.
As a coach, Griffin spent last two seasons with head coach Andy Toole at Robert Morris from 2016-18. Griffin was a key member of a staff that recruited 10 new student-athletes to RMU prior to the 2017-18 season. Despite the roster turnover, Griffin helped develop the Colonials into a contender in the Northeast Conference, advancing the team to the NEC Tournament semifinals in back-to-back years.
Prior to his time in Pittsburgh, Griffin served three years as an assistant coach under Dr. Brett Reed at Lehigh. During his three seasons at Lehigh, he helped guide Lehigh to the 2016 Patriot League Tournament championship game and was instrumental in the development of Tim Kempton and Kahron Ross, who were named 2015 Patriot League Player of the Year and 2015 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, respectively.
Griffin served as Director of Team Events for the Hoop Group before getting his start in the collegiate ranks, managing high school showcases and AAU events. He assisted in the recruitment and organization of the largest event offered by the Hoop Group in the Pittsburgh Jam Fest. Also while with Hoop Group, Griffin was the Director of Operations and Director of the Philly Hoop Group Classic, a Division I tournament that included Pittsburgh, Penn, La Salle, Rider, Robert Morris and James Madison.
Griffin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing and management from Siena
Andrew McGlynn begins his third season as La Salle's director of basketball operations in 2019-20. McGlynn is no stranger to La Salle, having served as the team's video coordinator during the 2014-15 season.
McGlynn comes to Philadelphia after spending two seasons with the NJIT men's basketball program as director of basketball operations. During his first year, the Highlanders won 20 games and advanced to the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for the second straight season.
Prior to joining NJIT, McGlynn entered college coaching as a graduate assistant for University of Detroit Mercy men's basketball program, managing video operations and assisting with opponent scouting. In 2013, Detroit Mercy clinched a National Invitation Tournament berth, McGlynn's first season on staff.
While an undergraduate student, McGlynn was head student manager for the Towson (Md.) University men's basketball program for four seasons and graduated from the school in 2012 with a bachelor's in sport management. He received his Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from Detroit Mercy in 2014.
Mike Doyle begins his first season with the La Salle men's basketball program as a graduate assistant coach in 2019-20.
Doyle comes to 20th and Olney after playing four seasons at Cabrini University in Radnor, Pa. A three-time member of the Colonial States Athletic Conference All-Sportsmanship Team, Doyle played in 85 games over the course of his career and was a member of two NCAA Tournament teams.
As a junior, Doyle and the Cavaliers went 26-4 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Doyle graduated from Cabrini with a bachelor's degree in history and secondary education in 2019. He was recognized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as a member of its Honors Court.
Horace "Pappy" Owens, a former McDonald's All-American out of Philadelphia's Dobbins Tech and NBA Draft Pick, is in his 16th season at La Salle University in 2019-20. After spending 14 years as an assistant coach, Owens shifted roles and currently serves as a special assistant to first-year head coach Ashley Howard.
Owens was instrumental in the Explorers 2012-13 Sweet 16 season, in which the team won 24 games, including three in the NCAA Tournament over Boise State, Kansas State and Ole Miss. The Explorers also recorded key ranked wins over #9 Butler, #16 VCU and #12 Kansas State and finished third in the Atlantic 10, which was ranked as the seventh best conference in the nation.
He played a key role in the Explorers 2011-12 season in which the team won 21 games and reached the NIT First Round, the first postseason appearance for the program in 20 years. The 21 wins were also the most since 1990.
He entered the collegiate coaching ranks after 14 years as a juvenile probation officer for the City of Philadelphia.
As the North Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the renowned Sonny Hill Basketball League, Owens has been a fixture in Philadelphia high school basketball. He coached the Philadelphia Phoenix AAU teams for six years, he mentored stand-outs Michael Blackshear (Simon Gratz/Temple), Wayne Marshall (Martin Luther King/Temple), Chaz Crawford (Northeast/Drexel) and Troy Roundtree (Northeast/Delaware State) among dozens of others who have played Division I hoops.
Owens stands as one of the all-time greats at the University of Rhode Island ('79-'83) where he is seventh on the all-time scoring list (1,750) and is second all-time in field goals. He averaged 22.3 points per game as a senior to earn honorable mention All-America citation and first team All-Atlantic 10. He was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 1996.
Owens was the 44th pick of the NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets in 1983 and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers where he spent one season at the professional level.
An outstanding player at Philadelphia's Dobbins Tech, he was named First Team All-City in 1979 and Second Team in 1978. Owens was the Daily News and Markward Club Player of the Year in 1979 after averaging 29.3 ppg. He averaged 25.0 ppg. as a junior. His 1,420 career points rank second in Dobbins history behind Bo Kimble.
Owens was named to the Second Team All-City in the Daily News look back at the past 35 years. He was also First Team All-Public and according to the Daily News, the third best player to come out of Dobbins behind Kimble and Hank Gathers.
Russell Wooten, who worked with the Villanova men's basketball team during its run to the 2018 NCAA National Championship, was named the strength and conditioning coach for men's and women's basketball in August 2019.
"I am excited an grateful to work with the men's and women's basketball programs at La Salle University," Wooten said. "La Salle has a rich history of basketball and great leadership with Coach Howard and Coach MacGillivray. I can't wait to get to work. Go Explorers!"
Wooten spent the 2017-18 season with Villanova's strength and conditioning staff, under the direction of head strength and conditioning coach for basketball John Shackleton. The men's team went 36-4 and won its second national championship in three seasons, while the women's team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Chula Vista, Calif. native also served as Villanova's interim head football strength and conditioning coach during the summer of 2018 and was the primary coach for the cheer team, the shot put, javelin, discus and hammer throw participants for track and field, and the men's and women's tennis programs during the school year. In 2018-19, he returned to the West Coast and worked as a strength and conditioning coach at San Diego Premier Training.
A former student-athlete at Villanova, Wooten played three seasons as a walk-on for the Wildcats and was a member of the 2009 Final Four team.
Wooten earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Villanova in 2010 and completed his master's degree in public administration in 2012. He gained status as a Certified Strength and Conditioning specialist (CSCS) in 2017 and has completed the NASM Fitness Nutrition program.