Men’s basketball adds three coaches, chief of staff to roster

Newly hired assistant coach Ben Fletcher (left) served alongside USF head coach Amir Abdur-Rahim during his four seasons at Kennesaw State. TWITTER/ @ben_fletcher15

Three new assistant coaches have been hired to join first year coach Amir Abdur-Rahim, two of whom served on his previous coaching staff at Kennesaw State.

USF Athletics announced last week that former Kennesaw State coaches Ben Fletcher and William Small and East Tennessee coach Desmond Oliver will join the Bulls’ coaching staff. Former Bulls basketball player Joi Fletcher was also named as the new chief of staff on Tuesday, marking her return to USF after graduating in 1988. 

Joi Fletcher

Fletcher was named men’s basketball chief of staff on Tuesday. Williams was a four-year starter for USF’s women’s basketball team from 1984-88. She earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1988.

As an executive, Williams held the assistant athletic director position for the women’s basketball team at Mississippi State during the 2022-23 season. Most notably, she was the former head coach for UCF’s women’s basketball from 2007 to 2016. 

During those nine years, Williams became the winningest head coach in program history with 114 wins. She guided the Knights to a pair of conference tournament championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances. 

Ben Fletcher

Fletcher was announced as the first assistant to the Bulls staff on May 10. Fletcher served as an assistant coach under Abdur-Rahim during his four seasons at Kennesaw State, helping guide the Owls to their first NCAA Tournament bid in 2022. 

Prior to that, Fletcher was an assistant coach at Troy for 14 seasons from 2005 to 2019. The Trojans had one of their most successful seasons in program history under Fletcher, winning a Sun Belt Championship in 2017 en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance.

William Small

Small was hired as an assistant coach on May 11. Small also was a member of Abdur-Rahim’s staff at Kennesaw State, serving two seasons as an assistant coach.

The veteran coach spent six seasons as an assistant at Iowa State, where the Cyclones made three tournament appearances. Small also had coaching roles at Murray State and Western Kentucky.

Desmond Oliver

Oliver’s hiring was announced on Twitter on Friday. He is the former head coach at East Tennessee, where he had a 27-37 record in his two year tenure.

Oliver made a trip to the Sweet Sixteen during his six years as an assistant coach at Tennessee, where the Volunteers were ranked as high as No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll. Oliver also coached at Georgia and conference newcomer Charlotte. 

With the addition of Fletcher and Small to the coaching staff, this marks the sixth former Kennesaw State player or coach to join Abdur-Rahim at USF.