Hokie fans on twitter have run amuck regarding today's news about Montrezl Harrell backing out of his letter of intent. Many seem confused and outraged as just a day earlier we learned about Dorian Finney-Smith's request to transfer. Two bigger names leaving the program can certaintly leave room for some contention. Nonetheless, shadowed by all this negativity are three other guys James Johnson has brought on as his assistants. We already know of one in Mark Byington, but recently announced are the arrival of Ramon Williams and Kurt Kanaskie.
Throughout Johnson's first presser and Weaver's discussion of firing of Seth Greenberg the idea of a "family" type atmosphere has been brought up over and over. Sadly, it was no secret that the previous regime had a turnstile of sorts with assistants. So in going with Byington (a Salem native) and Williams (a VMI keydete) there is obvious familiarity with the area that wouldn't shock anyone through a Blacksburg winter. More than that though is that throughout Coach Johnson's tenure he has shared an office, been on staff, or even played against each of these guys. They all have known of one another for a long time and at first glance look to be a group that should gel really well. Something the higher ups have long wanted over the last few years.
*** Quick bio's are as follows:
Mark Byington has been with the College of Charleston most of the last nine years (UVA's director of Bball operations for '04-'05 season) where he once shared an office with Johnson in the '02-'03 season. He's highly regarded for his recruiting abilities and was one of the first names brought up. Soon after Johnson left (albeit a brief tenure) Brad Brownell's staff to return to Tech, Brad immediately mentioned Byington as a top guy to go after. Jeff Goodman of CBS has also listed him as the no. 1 assistant in the South Conference. Per Mark Berman of The Roanoke Times he will be responsible for recruiting NC, SC, GA, and FL.
Ramon Williams graduated from VMI and has spent the last three seasons at Ohio University where he was integral to developing the guards. Like Johnson, he also left a brief stint at Illinois where he would have been in a more administrative role. Williams has also assisted at Depaul and University of Richmond. While at VMI, Ramon and twin brother Damon set records in scoring during games and throughout the season. He will be responsible for handling VA, MD, DC, and the Midwest.
Kurt Kanaskie will be the most senior member of Johnson's assistants. He started at the University of South Carolina has been a head coach at both IUP and Drake. Since then he has been an associate HC at Penn State and most recently Navy. He often crossed paths with Johnson while on Penn State's staff for three years and will be responsible for PA, NJ, and NY.
for some other info along with what was stated here look at Berman's release http://blogs.roanoke.com/courtside/. All other info was pulled from the respective school's bio pages.