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Gatens leaves Drake to return to Hawkeyes as assistant coach

Gatens was Iowa's “Mr. Basketball” as a senior at Iowa City High in 2008. He played overseas and in the NBA Development League before starting his coaching career.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Former Iowa player Matt Gatens will return to the team as an assistant, coach Fran McCaffery announced Thursday.

Gatens, an Iowa City native who has been on Drake's staff for four seasons, replaces the retiring Kirk Speraw.

“Matt was a respected leader on my first two teams as Iowa’s head coach," McCaffery said. “I could tell right away that he exhibited all the necessary attributes to be a successful coach. Since transitioning to the coaching profession, Matt has gained valuable experience working on the staffs at Auburn and Drake.”

Gatens was a four-year starter for the Hawkeyes from 2009-12. He was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and two-time team captain.

“I am thrilled and truly honored to be rejoining the Iowa men’s basketball program,” Gatens said. “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."

Gatens was Iowa's “Mr. Basketball” as a senior at Iowa City High in 2008. He played overseas and in the NBA Development League before working on Auburn's staff.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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