April 28, 2006

Gainesville, Fla. – Notre Dame assistant men’s basketball coach Lewis Preston, a six-year member of head coach Mike Brey’s coaching staff, resigned today to take a similar position at the University of Florida. Preston fills the assistant coaching position on head coach Billy Donovan’s Gator staff left vacant by the departure of Anthony Grant who was named head coach at Virginia Commonwealth.

“First of all, I would like to thank Lewis for the six great years he spent on our coaching staff at Notre Dame,” Brey said. “He truly was an outstanding representative of this University and its mission both on and off the basketball court. This is an exciting opportunity for he and his wife Angel. The whole Irish basketball family wishes him nothing but the best.”

Preston helped the Irish to a 118-70 (.628) mark in his time in South Bend, including three NCAA Tournament appearances and a Sweet 16 showing in 2003. The Irish reached the postseason in each of Preston’s six years at Notre Dame.

During his time on the Irish staff, he worked with the Irish post players and is also a highly regarded national recruiter.

The Boones Mill, Va., native joined the Irish men’s basketball program following two seasons as an assistant on Pete Strickland’s staff at Coastal Carolina, where he oversaw the academic progress and preseason conditioning of players, assisted in coaching, organized travel and was involved with on-campus recruiting.

A 1993 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Preston also spent four years playing professionally in Europe with stints in Luxembourg, Ireland and Finland.

Despite playing just one season of high school basketball, Preston had an extremely successful collegiate career as a player. He began as a walk-on at VMI, but left as a 1,000-point scorer and a school-record holder in four categories. He finished his career with 1,146 career points, becoming just the 21st player in school history to top the 1,000-point plateau.

As a senior, Preston led the Keydets in scoring (16.7), rebounding (7.1), field-goal percentage (.540), free-throw percentage (.800) and blocked shots (48). Preston was a two-time all-Southern Conference selection, leading the league in blocked shots twice and finishing as its second all-time shot-blocking leader.

Born Oct. 31, 1970, Preston graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in English literature. He married the former Angela Sangermano in May of 2001. The couple has two daughters, Alexandra, born in December of 2002, and Emma, born in January of 2005.

“I want to thank Dr. (Kevin) White, Coach (Mike) Brey and everyone associated with the Notre Dame basketball family for the support and kindness they have showed me and my wife Angel during the past six years.” Preston said. “I also would like to thank all the players that I have had the opportunity to coach for their hard work and dedication. I’m looking forward to this next challenge in my coaching career.”