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One of three Chicago-area natives on Porter Moser's coaching staff, Armon Gates is entering his second season as an assistant coach at Loyola University Chicago. Gates, who prepped at Hillcrest High School, spent one season as an assistant coach at Texas Christian before returning to his hometown to join the Loyola staff.
"Without question, Armon is one of the fast-rising stars in the coaching profession," Moser said. "Being from Chicago and having had success recruiting to Kent State and TCU, he adds a component of our philosophy that we have earmarked as a priority, that being to recruit the Chicago area. He was a great player at Kent State brings to our program a lot of energy and experience in developing our student-athletes. Everyone on our staff has played or coached in the NCAA Tournament, so we are aware of the hard work, dedication and sacrifice it takes to attain that goal."
One of the top young recruiters in the business, Gates played an influential role as Loyola reeled in a strong recruiting class that features Nick Osborne, Jeff "Keke" White, Matt O'Leary, Jeremy King, Devon Turk, and Tanner Williams for the 2012-13 season.
In his first year at Loyola, Gates helped transform forward Ben Averkamp into one of the premier players in the Horizon League as he snared Second Team All-Horizon League honors to become Loyola's first all-conference performer since 2006-07. Averkamp was one of a handful of players to enjoy his most productive season in 2011-12 as he put up team highs of 15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and was one of only two players to rank in the top five in the Horizon League in each category. Senior Walt Gibler also averaged personal bests of 12.4 ppg and 5.8 rpg and finished his career as one of only 18 players in Loyola history to total both 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
Averkamp and Gibler were not only successful on the court, but also in the classroom as both student-athletes were named to the National Jesuit Men's Basketball All-Academic Team, the Horizon League Men's Basketball All-Academic Team and the I-AAA Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete Team. In addition, Averkamp was recognized for his excellence as a student-athlete by garnering Capital One First Team Academic All-District V accolades.
While at TCU during the 2010-11 campaign, Gates aided in the development of the Horned Frogs' guards, most notably junior Hank Thorns, who was a Third Team All-Mountain West Conference selection. Thorns finished the season as the only individual ranked among the top 12 in the nation in both assists per game and assist-turnover ratio. His 225 assists ranked No. 2 in MWC single-season history and he ranked third on the team with 10.7 points per game.
Prior to his brief stay at TCU, Gates spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Kent State University, helping the Golden Flashes to the 2009-10 Mid-American Conference regular-season title. In his final year at Kent State, Gates was part of a staff that guided the Golden Flashes to the second round of the NIT.
Gates began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Western Kentucky University under current South Carolina Head Coach Darrin Horn. In his lone season on the Hilltoppers' staff, the team recorded a 29-7 overall record and reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
During his playing days at Kent State, Gates helped the Golden Flashes to a composite record of 88-42 and three postseason appearances. Kent State recorded four straight 20-win seasons during his time on campus and he closed out his career tied for second on the school's all-time three-point field goals made chart.
Gates graduated from Kent State in 2006 and earned his master's degree from the same institution in 2007.