Nebraska’s Michael Lewis is hired as UCLA basketball assistant

UCLA men's basketball coach Mick Cronin smiles during his introductory news conference in April. Cronin has finalized his coaching staff for his first season in Westwood.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

UCLA basketball coach Mick Cronin completed his staff Thursday, hiring Nebraska’s Michael Lewis as an assistant.

Lewis spent the previous three seasons with the Cornhuskers as part of a coaching career in which he has spent 17 seasons at five stops. Before arriving at Nebraska in 2016, Lewis coached at Butler, Eastern Illinois and Stephen F. Austin. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech under coach Bobby Knight.

Lewis joins UCLA assistants Darren Savino and Rod Palmer, who were previously hired by Cronin.


“Michael Lewis is a tremendous basketball coach who has worked with three great coaches, in Brad Stevens, Chris Holtmann and Tim Miles,” Cronin said in a statement. “He’s someone I have known and respected for many years. He brings experience as a great offensive coach. Darren, Rod and now Michael make up a dynamic, experienced and hard-working coaching staff to help us build UCLA basketball back into a championship-caliber program.”

Lewis, a former standout guard at Indiana, served as Nebraska’s offensive coordinator in each of the past two seasons, helping the Cornhuskers compile 41 victories and back-to-back appearances in the National Invitation Tournament. He was also heavily involved with coaching the team’s guards.

UCLA also announced it had hired Greg Youncofski as its director of recruiting-player personnel after he had worked the previous six seasons under Cronin at Cincinnati. Youncofski will oversee UCLA’s analytics and advanced scouting of opponents while handling recruiting databases and scheduling.