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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fox Finds Perfect Fit

It took a bit longer than expected, but that's only because Mark Fox wasn't willing to settle. But now three months into his tenure -- and a full month into having a full staff -- he's sure the wait was worth it.

"We had a specific plan in place to end up with a staff like this, and I took my time with it because I wanted to get what I wanted," Fox said. "Now we have the pieces in place that I've very happy with."

Fox's three assistants all filled specific roles.

Kwanza Johnson came with Fox from Nevada. Johnson knows Fox well, as serves as the conduit between Fox and the rest of the team.

Philip Pearson served as Alabama's interim coach during the latter half of last season but found himself out of work after the Crimson Tide hired Anthony Grant as their new head coach. That was a bonus for Fox, who snagged Pearson soon after taking the job at Georgia. Pearson's ties to the SEC, where he has been a longtime assistant, were essential given Fox's limited recruiting experience in the area.

The staff was rounded out last month with the addition of former Virginia Tech assistant Stacy Palmore. Just as Pearson brought an exceptional resume of experience in the SEC, Palmore brings similar credentials from years in the ACC.

In all, the staff couldn't have turned out any better, Fox said.

"Kwanza has an advantage because he's been with me for three years," Fox said. "He knows how we function and what the finished product should look like. Philip and Stacy, with their recruiting connections in this part of the country, give us some instant credibility and ties. So I'm excited about the diversity of this group and the chemistry between the four of us."

There is one more position yet to be filled -- the role of director of basketball operations. But that job's all but spoken for already, and Fox had a special name in mind from the beginning.

"It won't be official until around when school starts, but Kent Davidson is a guy I've played for years ago," Fox said. "He'll join us officially in August."

Davidson worked with Fox early in his career before coaching in the NBA developmental league. He's currently the head coach of the Qatar national team.

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