Nebraska closes in on hiring Armon Gates as new men’s basketball assistant

Nebraska closes in on hiring Armon Gates as new men’s basketball assistant
Armon Gates helped lead Northwestern to its first NCAA tournament berth and victory. (Northwestern Athletics)

LINCOLN — Nebraska is a few bits of contract language away from adding Armon Gates to its men’s basketball staff.

Two sources with knowledge of the situation on Thursday said Gates will join the Huskers at the same level and pay grade as current NU aides Jim Molinari and Michael Lewis. Gates spent five years as an assistant at Northwestern and less than a month at Florida after joining the Gators staff April 8.

Gates was named associate head coach at Florida and, sources said, was to be paid about $100,000 more than his previous salary.

Nebraska coach Tim Miles on Thursday continued to decline comment on his search for a replacement for Kenya Hunter, who left after five years for Connecticut. Miles told The World-Herald previously he was vetting at least four candidates.

On Thursday, Gates’ Twitter account changed from identifying him as Florida’s associate head coach to simply “men’s basketball coach.” Details of why Gates is leaving Florida so soon remain unclear.

Gates is a Chicago native who played at Kent State and left as the school’s second-leading 3-point shooter.

He was a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky for one year, an assistant at Kent State for two, an assistant at TCU for one and an assistant at Loyola of Chicago for two before going to Northwestern for five.

Gates has been credited with developing several Northwestern guards and wings, helping the program gain its first NCAA tournament berth and victory in 2017.

His brother, Dennis, is an assistant at Florida State.

As for recruiting, 7-foot Argentine center Francisco Caffaro signed with Virginia after visiting Nebraska, Georgia Tech and Saint Mary’s. His visit to Virginia was arranged at the last minute.

The Huskers hosted 6-5 guard Amir Harris of Hagerstown, Maryland, on Wednesday and Thursday.