UConn men’s basketball associate head coach Kimani Young was named a finalist by the Rising Coaches Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alliance for its annual Next Up head coaches training initiative on Monday. Young is one of 12 coaches selected by the DEI committee to participate in the training later in October.
Young was nominated by a group he helped found, Coaches for Action, which is composed of 21 Big East assistants with “a shared mission to use the platform of athletics to educate and bring awareness to social injustices,” according to UConn’s release.
From Queens, Young got his coaching start under Richard Pitino first at FIU and then Minnesota. Head coach Dan Hurley focused on Young as an assistant while he put together his first staff with the Huskies.
The ‘Next Up’ training initiative, while only in its third year, has had four alums who’ve gone on to earn head coaching jobs, including Minnesota’s Ben Johnson, who was also nominated by the Coaches for Action group. When the head coaching search at UMass began last season, Young was rumored to be a top candidate for the job.
“Thank you to all the organizations and the nominees. They all presented themselves exceptionally well and have bright futures as head coaches,” said Darryl Jacobs, executive director for the Rising Coaches DEI Alliance.
Hurley has consistently praised Young’s abilities, especially in the recruiting realm, where he’s helped the Huskies generate a top-five 2023 class — the third consecutive class inside the top 20.
Young was named by The Athletic as one of 25 “up-and-coming assistant coaches in the country,” according to the release.