Hewitt on the sidelines in 2006
May 4, 1963|
|1982–1985||St. John Fisher|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1988–1989||C.W. Post (assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
MAAC Tournament (1999)|
2 MAAC regular season (1999, 2000)
MAAC Coach of the Year (2000)|
ACC Coach of the Year (2001)
Paul Harrington Hewitt (born May 4, 1963) is an American college basketball coach and the former head coach at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and George Mason University. He grew up in Westbury, New York.
After playing at St. John Fisher College, Hewitt coached the Siena College men's college basketball team for three years, from 1998 to 2000. He led Siena to their first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title game appearance, and coached Siena into the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship tournament.
Georgia Tech's success under Hewitt came as no surprise. Prior to his arrival in Atlanta, he posted a 66–27 mark as the head coach at Siena. At the Loudonville, N.Y., school, Hewitt revived a program that had been dormant since the mid-90's and molded it into one of the best in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and among the best in the Northeast.
In three seasons at Siena, Hewitt developed one of the nation's highest scoring teams. Siena ranked third nationally in scoring each of his last two seasons there, and in three seasons the team averaged 85.6 points per game while shooting 38.1 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent from the foul line.
Following a three-year stretch in which Siena won just 22 games, Hewitt guided a young Saints team to a 17–12 overall record in his first season, including a 10–8 mark in the MAAC and the school's first-ever berth in the MAAC Tournament title game. In his second year, Siena went 25–6 and earned the school's first-ever MAAC Tournament Championship and its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1989.
Hewitt guided the Saints to their first-ever outright conference regular-season title in 2000. Siena finished the season with a 24–9 overall mark and a MAAC-best 15–3 slate. He directed the Saints to their third consecutive MAAC Championship game appearance, and second consecutive postseason berth with a bid to the NIT.
Hewitt was head coach of the Georgia Tech men's college basketball team from 2000 to 2011. He was released in March 2011.
During the 2004 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, he led them to the championship game against Connecticut. In 2005, he signed a contract extension, giving him a new six-year contract. On March 12, 2011, he was let go from his head coaching position at Georgia Tech with a $7.2 million buyout. Named Georgia Tech's 12th head basketball coach on April 6, 2000, Paul Hewitt was given the task of restoring its basketball program to the level it achieved in the 1980s and early '90s with 10 NCAA Tournament appearances and three Atlantic Coast Conference championships.
In 11 seasons under Hewitt, Tech went to the NCAA Tournament five times, played for a national championship, played for two ACC championships, advanced to the Postseason NIT quarterfinals and won the Preseason NIT. He would only finish with one winning ACC season in those 11 years which would lead to his eventual dismissal.
Hewitt compiled a record of 190–162 at Tech, and his overall record as a head coach is 256–189, with eight post-season appearances in 14 years. Hewitt expanded his experience by twice serving as an assistant coach for USA Basketball's Under-18 team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, helping the U.S. win a gold medal each time. He was named head coach for the 2011 USA Basketball Under-19 team. He finished his Tech career third among active coaches in the ACC in games coached and fourth in career victories. He ranks 17th in career victories all-time. Born in Jamaica and reared on New York's Long Island, Hewitt received his highest accolades for guiding the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA in his very first season in 2001, and for taking them within one win of a national championship three years later in 2004. That season, Hewitt went to work with a team that had lost its two best rebounders, including Chris Bosh, who left Tech after one season to play in the NBA. Despite preseason predictions that had Tech finishing no better than seventh in the ACC, the Yellow Jackets started 12–0 and finished 28–10, tying a school record for victories in a season.
Along the way, Tech won the Preseason NIT, and in the process defeated a team ranked No. 1 in the country (Connecticut) for the first time in 11 years. Tech achieved its highest ACC regular season finish in eight years (a tie for third at 9–7). The Yellow Jackets, who posted a 9–6 record against Top 25 teams, defeated Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium to end a 41-game homecourt winning streak for the Blue Devils, and won at Wake Forest to snap a 24-game streak at home for the Demon Deacons.
Tech's success led to Hewitt receiving the Fritz Pollard Coach of the Year award by the Black College Coaches Association. He also was listed at No. 71 among the nation's 101 top minorities in sports by Sports Illustrated. Only 15 figures in college athletics, and only four men's basketball coaches, made that list.
Though Tech dealt with a number of injuries to key players the following season, Hewitt again guided the Yellow Jackets to a strong finish, tying for fourth place in the regular season and advancing to the championship game of the ACC Tournament, a first for the Jackets under Hewitt. Tech earned its third NCAA bid under Hewitt, and fourth post-season bid overall, and won its first-round game before being eliminated by Louisville. He guided Jackets back to the Big Dance in 2007 despite losing the team's top scorer in December. In 2010, despite a strong reliance on four freshmen in his eight-man rotation, Hewitt guided the Jackets to their fourth NCAA Tournament, winning 23 games overall. Tech won three games in the ACC Tournament and lost a close game to Duke in the finals, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional.
In his very first season on the Flats, despite the prevailing pre-season opinions that had Tech finishing no better than eighth in the ACC and gave the Jackets little chance for a winning record, Hewitt guided a veteran squad with five seniors to an 8–8 record and a fifth-place finish in the nation's toughest conference. Tech's 17–13 record marked its first winning season since 1998, and the Jackets won their first ACC Tournament game and earned their first trip to the Big Dance since 1996.
Hewitt was recognized as the ACC Coach of the Year, only the second time in league history that a first-year coach had won the award. He was also named District 5 Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and was a finalist for the Naismith College Coach of the Year Award. Six of his players have earned first- or second-team All-ACC honors, including Iman Shumpert (second team in 2011), Jarrett Jack (second team in 2005), B.J. Elder (second team in 2004), Bosh (second team in 2003), Tony Akins (second team in 2002) and Alvin Jones (first team in 2001).
The recruiting efforts of Hewitt and his staff also resulted in strong contributions from Tech's players early in their careers as well. Three Tech players were named ACC Rookie of the Year, including Derrick Favors in 2010, Chris Bosh in 2003 and Ed Nelson in 2002. Seven players were named to the league's all-freshman team under Hewitt.
Several Tech players under Hewitt have gone on to play basketball professionally, including first-round draft picks Derrick Favors, the third overall pick by New Jersey in 2010; Chris Bosh, an NBA lottery choice in 2003 who is now with the Miami Heat; Jack, a first-round pick in 2005 now a point guard for the New Orleans Hornets; Thaddeus Young (Brooklyn) and Javaris Crittenton (Memphis), first-round choices in 2007; and Alvin Jones, a second-round choice in 2001 who spent time with the Philadelphia 76ers. Will Bynum (Washington) recently completed his eight season in the NBA. Luke Schenscher, as well as former walk-on Mario West, have spent time on NBA rosters, while four-year player Anthony Morrow, led the NBA in three-point shooting as a rookie and is currently active with Oklahoma City. Others like Akins, B.J. Elder, Shaun Fein, Anthony McHenry and Isma'il Muhammad continue to play pro basketball abroad.
Three of his assistant coaches became head coaches—Dean Keener at James Madison, Cliff Warren at Jacksonville and John O'Connor at Holy Family in Philadelphia—while three players became assistants (Jon Babul at James Madison, Darryl LaBarrie at Campbell, East Carolina and Georgia Tech - currently at Georgia State and Winston Neal at Jacksonville - currently the head coach at Columbia State College).
Since the 1996-1997 season, Tech basketball has posted four seasons of .500 or better in league play, all under Hewitt. They also appeared in two ACC tournament finals (2005 & 2010). On March 12, 2011, Paul Hewitt was dismissed as the head coach of the Georgia Tech after eleven seasons as head coach.
Hewitt has served in USA Basketball on several occasions. In 2006 and 2010, he was an assistant coach with the Under-18 team. Both won gold medals in the Championship of the Americas. He was also the head coach of the U.S. Under-19 squad at the 2011 FIBA Under-19 World Championship. The team came in 5th place.
On April 30, 2011, Hewitt was named the 9th head men's basketball coach in the programs history at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He succeeded previous head coach Jim Larranaga after Larranaga accepted a head coaching job at the University of Miami.
In his first year, George Mason returned 3 senior starters from an NCAA tournament team that had beaten Villanova and was picked to finish second in the conference. Hewitt led the Patriots to a 24–9 record, including a 14–4 mark and 3rd-place finish in CAA play. Senior Ryan Pearson was named the CAA Player of the Year, just the third Patriot to earn the honor.
In his second season as the head men’s basketball coach Hewitt guided the Patriots to a 22–16 mark, including a 10–8 conference record. For the second year in a row Hewitt's team did not receive an NCAA or NIT invitation, but played instead in the College Basketball Invitation where it finished as runner-up losing in the championship game to Santa Clara. Junior guard Sherrod Wright was named to the All-State and All-CAA second teams.
In his third season, George Mason moved to the basketball-centric Atlantic-10 conference. Hewitt led his team to an 11–20 mark (4–12 in Atlantic 10). No Patriot players were named to the all conference team.
In his fourth season at George Mason, the Patriots were 9–22 record (4–14 in Atlantic 10). After being eliminated from the Atlantic 10 tournament in the first round for the second year in a row, Hewitt was fired on March 16, 2015. Since his firing at George Mason, Hewitt has remained active in the coaching and broadcasting profession. He served as Vice President of the NABC Board of Directors. In September 2016, It was announced that Hewitt had joined the staff of the Los Angeles Clippers as a scout.
Head coaching record
|Siena Saints (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) (1997–2000)|
|1998–99||Siena||25–6||13–5||T–1st||NCAA Division I First Round|
|1999–00||Siena||24–9||15–3||1st||NIT Second Round|
|Siena:||66–27 (.710)||38–16 (.704)|
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2000–2011)|
|2000–01||Georgia Tech||17–13||8–8||T–5th||NCAA Division I First Round|
|2002–03||Georgia Tech||16–15||7–9||5th||NIT Quarterfinal|
|2003–04||Georgia Tech||28–10||9–7||T–3rd||NCAA Division I Runner-up|
|2004–05||Georgia Tech||20–12||8–8||T–4th||NCAA Division I Second Round|
|2006–07||Georgia Tech||20–12||8–8||T–6th||NCAA Division I First Round|
|2009–10||Georgia Tech||23–13||7–9||7th||NCAA Division I Second Round|
|Georgia Tech:||190–162 (.542)||72–104 (.409)|
|George Mason Patriots (Colonial Athletic Association) (2011–2013)|
|2012–13||George Mason||22–16||10–8||5th||CBI Runner-up|
|George Mason Patriots (Atlantic 10 Conference) (2013–2015)|
|George Mason:||66–67 (.496)||32–38 (.457)|
Postseason invitational champion
- "Paul Hewitt". Sports Reference. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- Player Bio:Paul Hewitt, RamblingWreck.com
- "Ga. Tech's Hewitt gets contract extension". USA Today. August 5, 2005.
- "Source: Georgia Tech fires Paul Hewitt". ESPN. March 12, 2011.
- "Team U.S.A. profile". Retrieved 2012-05-15.
- "Paul Hewitt Tabbed as New Men's Basketball Coach". George Mason Athletics. George Mason Athletics. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
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