RICHMOND, Ky. – Ryan Whalen has joined the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach, head coach Dan McHale announced on Monday.
Whalen comes to EKU following six seasons on Kevin Willard’s staff at Seton Hall. He was the Director of Basketball Operations in 2015-16 when the Pirates won the Big East Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 6 seed.
“I am thrilled to welcome Ryan and his family to our EKU basketball family,” McHale said. “I have worked with Ryan for four years at Seton Hall and Iona, and he is as passionate about mentoring student-athletes and coaching basketball as anyone I have ever been around. We are lucky to have him and he will bring immediate credibility to our staff and program. Having won a Big East championship and been groomed under reigning Big East Coach of the Year Kevin Willard, Ryan is a rising star in this business. Our family got better today.”
Whalen was promoted to Seton Hall’s Director of Basketball Operations during the 2014-15 season, previously serving as the Pirates’ Director of Player Development and Coordinator of Basketball Operations. He primarily aided in the development of scouting reports for opponents, film breakdown and exchange, and managing the program’s extensive recruiting database.
Whalen served as the Pirates’ video coordinator during the 2010-11 campaign, while also assisting with the program’s day-to-day operations. Over the summers, Whalen organized and served as a lead administrator for the Kevin Willard Basketball Camp.
He worked in the same capacity under Willard at Iona in 2009-10.
A 2008 graduate of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Whalen played two years of junior varsity basketball for the Hawks before being named a student assistant coach by head coach Phil Martelli.
Whalen first landed a spot as an administrative assistant and video coordinator at Towson University under head coach Pat Kennedy in 2008-09. He was responsible for coordinating game tape exchange and managing the Tigers’ student managers.
Having developed a broad basketball background, Whalen has also had stints with the Hoop Group and the Philadelphia 76ers. He served as a part of the staff for a number of Hoop Group events before being named the Assistant Director of Elite Camps in 2009. In this role, Whalen helped recruit campers, organize and run a camp that included 70 high school teams. As an intern for the 76ers in the summer of 2007, he assisted coaches, players and team executives with day-to-day operations and during the NBA draft process.
Whalen’s camp experience includes time as a counselor at the Duke University, Saint Joseph’s University and Bob Hurley basketball camps. He has also worked closely with his father, Joe Whalen, a long time area high school coach in running his own camp.
Whalen is a graduate of Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch, N.J. where he lettered in basketball (shooting guard) and football (wide receiver and defensive back). He also was a member of a Jersey City Boys Club AAU basketball team that won five straight New Jersey state titles.
Ryan and his wife, the former Amy Iuliano, were married in 2012 and have two sons, Colin Joseph, born in May of 2014, and Christopher Ryan, born in May of 2016.