Crean confirms Judson promotion, staff addition

INDIANAPOLIS — As expected, Rob Judson is receiving a promotion.

Indiana coach Tom Crean confirmed Thursday that Judson will take the full-time assistant coaching position vacated in March by Steve McClain. Judson has spent the last season and a half as IU’s director of basketball operations.

“He’s one of the finest coaches I’ve been around,” Crean said at a fan event Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium. “I had great respect for him long before I got to know him.”

Judson has over 25 years of college basketball coaching experience at the Division I level. Prior to taking the operations job at IU in January 2014, Judson was an assistant at Illinois State from 2007-2013. Judson, 57, was head coach at Northern Illinois from 2001-07 and had prior assistant coaching stints at Illinois, his alma mater, and Bradley.

After McClain left to take the Illinois-Chicago coaching job, McClain spent the spring and summer representing Indiana on the recruiting trail. During his early coaching stint with the Illini from 1996-2001, Judson was considered the top recruiter for Lon Kruger and Bill Self, and helped the program make four NCAA Tournament appearances in five years, winning Big Ten titles in 1998 and 2001.

That led to his first and only college head coaching job at Northern Illinois in 2001, when Judson took over a team that won five games during the year before and guided the Huskies to 12 wins during his first season. Although Judson finished 74-101 during his six seasons at NIU, his 2005-06 team went 17-11 and won the only Mid-American Conference West Division Championship in program history.

“He’s an excellent man and has meant a lot to our program the last few years,” Crean said.

Crean also confirmed that Brett Burman will take Judson’s former position as director of basketball operations.

Burman most recently held the same job under Frank Haith at Tulsa. He also worked as a graduate assistant for Haith at the University of Miami, spending time on video and opponent scouting. Burman spent one season as Hofstra’s video coordinator and has NBA experience as assistant video coordinator for the Detroit Pistons.

“I always like to have somebody that can bring a little different perspective to it, whether it’s a former player, (or) whether it’s somebody that’s been at the NBA level,” Crean said. “He’s got a great mind for such a young coach.”