May 7, 2003
Rod Balanis, who spent the past three seasons as coordinator of men’s basketball operations at the University of Notre Dame, has been promoted to assistant men’s basketball coach. Balanis joins associate head coach Sean Kearney and assistant coach Lewis Preston on Irish head coach Mike Brey’s coaching staff.
This will be Balanis’ second stint as an assistant coach at the collegiate level. Prior to coming to Notre Dame at the start of the 2000-01 campaign, he spent four years as an assistant coach at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. In his first season with the Red Raiders, he had the opportunity to coach and work with Adonal Foyle, currently a member of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Foyle the eighth overall pick in the ’97 NBA draft, finished his career as the NCAA’s all-time shot-blocking leader.
A 1993 honors graduate of Georgia Tech with a degree in management, the Williamsburg, Va., native played for Bobby Cremins from 1990-94. He enrolled at Georgia Tech in the fall of 1989, but red-shirted his freshman season (1989-90) after sustaining injuries in a car accident.
While at Georgia Tech, Balanis was part of teams which made four trips to the NCAA tournament and appeared in the National Invitation Tournament once. The Ramblin’ Wreck reached the Sweet 16 twice in that five-year span and earned a berth in the ’90 Final Four held that year in Denver, Colo.
Balanis was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll while at Georgia Tech and was honored as a “Peach of an Athlete” in 1993 by the Boy Scouts of America for his outstanding character and citizenship.
He played professionally in Greece for a brief time as a member of the Aris Thessolinski of the Greek First Division during the 1994-95 season. Following that stint, Balanis became a sales representative for the Riddell Corporation in the Washington-Baltimore area prior to beginning his first coaching stint as a volunteer assistant at Colgate.
Balanis graduated from De Matha High School in Hyattsville, Md., in ’88 after an outstanding prep career playing for legendary coach Morgan Wootten. Brey was an assistant on Wootten’s coaching staff while Balanis attended the school. Balanis helped De Matha to an 84-16 record and nine tournament titles. He also set the school’s single-game assist mark with 14 in one game. His senior season saw the Stags finish with a final 30-3 mark as his team was ranked the top prep squad in the Washington, D.C. area by the Washington Post and garnered a No. 5 ranking by USA Today.
Balanis’s father, George, was the head basketball coach at William & Mary from 1974-77.
Balanis is married to the former Liz Barker, currently the assistant women’s tennis at Notre Dame. They were married in August of 2002 and reside in Granger, Ind.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to promote Rod to an assistant coaching position on our staff,” Brey says. “Rod has been an integral part of our program the past three seasons as coordinator of basketball operations. He has built a great relationship and repertoire with our players; they have tremendous respect for him. Three years ago when I got the job at Notre Dame, he gave up an assistant’s position at Colgate to take the job here. Now he has the chance to return to his basketball roots.”