FAYETTEVILLE – Timothy Eatman becomes the first member of Tom Collen’s University of Arkansas coaching staff as the former University of Louisville assistant becomes the associate head coach for the Lady Razorbacks.
“I am really pleased that Tim decided to join us as our associate head coach,” Collen said. “He is known from coast-to-coast as one of the finest recruiters in America.”
By joining Collen at Arkansas, Eatman continues a relationship that began three years ago at Louisville.
“I’m here because of Coach Collen, and wanted to be here with him to build a program,” Eatman said. “I believe in him as a man and as a coach. His integrity and character are all things that I want to be a part of.”
Honored by national basketball publications as one of the top recruiters in women’s basketball, Eatman also brings a reputation for developing talent and tenacious defense.
“Tim will also serve as our defensive coordinator, and he was an instrumental part of our success as one of the top defensive teams in the Big East,” Collen said.
Eatman was a part of Louisville bringing in two nationally ranked classes, including a 25th-ranked class this past season.
During his assistant coaching career, Eatman has signed some of the best players in the nation – including current Lady’Back senior Lauren Ervin. The nation’s top junior then the No. 2 prep player in the country back in 2003 as Eatman signed Ervin for Kansas out of high school.
His resume resembled that of his current boss. Eatman registered the nation’s top recruiting class in 1994 while at Iowa, one of five times his recruiting resulted in a top 10 class. During his career, Eatman has a total of 11 top 30 recruiting classes for five different Division I schools.
“While he’s known as a great recruiter, Tim brings much more to the staff,” Collen said “His experience as a head coach brings another level of experience to the program.”
Eatman spent two seasons with Marian Washington at Kansas before arriving at Louisville in 2004. Along with Ervin and other top recruits, Eatman was named one of the top 10 assistant coaches in the country by Basketball Times in 2003.
It was Eatman’s second tour with the Jayhawks, joining Washington’s staff after serving as the head man for four seasons at Illinois-Chicago. Eatman brought in two top 20 recruiting classes in his four years at UIC.
Eatman arrived at Kansas for the first time in 1996, and landed the nation’s No. 6 recruiting class in his second year. He backed it up with another No. 6 class in 1998, and added a third-ranked class in 2003. On the court, he worked with players that led Kansas to the Big 12 Championship in 1997 and reached the Sweet 16 in 1998.
Working with another coaching legend before Kansas, Eatman was an assistant coach for then Iowa head coach C. Vivian Stringer. With the Hawkeyes, Eatman also had the nation’s top recruiting class in 1994, and was honored by Lindy’s Magazine as one of the top young recruiters in women’s basketball. He backed it up with a 12th-ranked class the following year.
Prior to Iowa, Eatman spend a season at Houston from 1992-93, and the Cougars’ 1992 class as rated No. 4 in the country. Eatman also has experience in the SEC, spending one season as an assistant at Mississippi State.
A 1988 graduate of Talladega College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Eatman started his college coaching career as the head coach at his alma mater. Turning the team into a winner in his first season, Eatman led the Tornadoes to a 20-9 season in his second year with Talladega.
Along with a gift for identifying and signing talented players, Eatman has also developed players with 13 of his former players in the coaching ranks. Six more players, including veterans like Tangela Smith and Tamecka Dixon, have played in the WNBA.
Eatman and his wife, Crystal, have one son, Tyler.