Associate Head Coach
With seven years of NCAA Division I basketball experience, Nick Booker is the new associate head coach on the staff of new Eastern Washington University men’s basketball head coach Shantay Legans.
Booker spent the 2016-17 season at his alma mater, Davidson College, as director of basketball operations. The previous six seasons he was at UC Irvine in California, including the last five as an assistant coach.
As a player and coach, he has been a part of teams to advance to the NCAA Tournament twice, as well as the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) once and the College Insider Tournament (CIT) on two occasions. He was also an assistant on Saddleback College teams which won the California Community College Athletic Association title one season and was runner-up the year prior.
“I am extremely excited to welcome Nick and his family to Cheney,” said Legans when his hiring was announced on May 10, 2017. “Nick is a great basketball mind, and is well-respected among basketball coaches around the country and internationally. His desire to help student-athletes succeed both on and off the court is an extremely important quality for our program.”
In his lone season on the staff at Davidson, the Wildcats finished 17-15 overall and 8-10 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. While on the bench for the Anteaters the previous six years, UC Irvine was 118-90 overall, 60-38 in Big West play and advanced to the postseason four times, including the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
“Nick understands what we look for in student-athletes, and his strong ties to recruiting circles throughout the country and internationally will help us enhance our recruiting efforts,” added Legans. “Coach Booker knows what it takes to be successful. He has won at every level, first, as a player at Davidson, but also at the junior college and NCAA Division I levels as a coach.”
The 2016-17 season was Booker’s seventh year overall as a member of the UC Irvine basketball staff and his sixth as an assistant coach with the Anteater program. Booker was promoted to assistant coach prior to the 2011-12 season after serving his first season as the team's director of operations, in which he assisted the basketball coaching staff with travel, purchasing, film exchange, community service and handled many of the day-to-day office duties.
Booker's responsibilities as an assistant included skill development, academic monitoring, recruiting, on-court coaching (defensive emphasis), and summer camps. Booker was involved in the player-development process and has helped 10 players earn All-Big West Conference accolades in his tenure at UC Irvine.
Booker also played a vital role in the performance of Anteater players in the classroom by working directly with UC Irvine’s academic support center to ensure the players’ obligations are met. In his career at UC Irvine, Booker has helped sign, and maintain eligibility, of arguably the best recruiting classes in UC Irvine history.
In the 2015-16 season, the Anteaters registered a school-record 28 wins and also set new UCI marks for non-conference victories (15) and road wins (13). The team advanced to the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com (CIT) postseason tournament and the Anteaters had an RPI as high as 41 (best in school history) during the regular season and a final RPI of 68.
Booker was also involved in the school’s historic 2014-15 season when the Anteaters won the Big West Conference Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time. The Anteaters fell to three-time national champion Louisville by just two points in an NCAA Second-Round game at Seattle, Wash.
The 2013-14 team advanced to the NIT and the 2012-13 squad played in the CIT where is recorded the first national postseason win in school history. That started a four-year stretch in which the Anteaters were a collective 93-51 (21-16, 23-12, 21-13, 28-10), with a pair of Big West titles.
Booker’s efforts helped the Anteaters become one of the most feared defensive teams in the nation. In four of his seasons on the staff, UC Irvine ranked in the top 25 in field goal percentage defense, including third in 2014-15.
Prior to joining the Anteater staff, Booker served as an assistant coach at powerhouse community college, Saddleback College. Booker was instrumental in helping recruit and develop several All-State players, while the team captured the California Community College State Championship in 2009.
He graduated from Davidson College in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in history. He was a member of the Wildcats’ team under current Davidson College head coach Bob McKillop. Booker was a starter for the 2002 Southern Conference championship team that competed in the NCAA Tournament against Ohio State. As a senior, he led Davidson in blocked shots and steals.
Booker went on to receive his master’s degree in physical education from Azusa Pacific in 2010.
A native of San Diego, Calif., where he earned four varsity letters at The Bishop’s School, Booker is married to the former Jamila Ewell, who played collegiate soccer at the University of Wyoming. They have three children, Philip, Kaleb, and Ella.
David Riley begins his third season on the coaching staff in the 2016-17 school year after being elevated to an assistant men’s coaching position at EWU in May of 2014. He was previously Eastern’s director of basketball operations, and has retained some of those duties as well as his on-floor coaching of post players and recruiting.
Riley played for EWU head coach Jim Hayford at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., from the 2007-08 season through 2010-11, earning All-Northwest Conference accolades all four years. Whitworth teams were a collective 98-18 while Riley was there, with three NWC titles (55-9 in league play) and four appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
He graduated in 2011 from Whitworth, then joined Hayford at EWU the following season. Riley, whose uncle, Mike Riley, is head football coach at Nebraska (formerly at Oregon State), helped as a manager and team operations assistant three previous seasons, including the first two as a graduate assistant. He received his master of science degree in physical education from EWU in 2013.
“David has been a part of building our program, first as a graduate assistant, then as an excellent director of basketball operations and now as an assistant coach,” said Hayford. “I am pleased that David joined our coaching staff to advance his career. David has the respect of the players -- the players love him and I love him. He was fun to coach and that brings an added dimension -- he can relate to players as a former player of mine. Coaching runs in his blood.”
His first two seasons as an assistant have been historic for the Eagles – Eastern’s combined 44 victories are the most for EWU since becoming a member of Division I in the 1983-84 season. He helped coach Eastern to a 26-9 record overall, Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament titles and a NCAA Tournament appearance in the 2014-15 season. The following season, he helped EWU to its first-ever victory in a national postseason tournament in 33 seasons as a member of NCAA Division I when the Eagles beat Pepperdine 79-72 in the College Basketball Invitational. Eastern won 18 games in the 2015-16 season, led by first team All-Big Sky and National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 6 performers Venky Jois and Austin McBroom.
In his first three seasons in the program, Riley was the team’s video and analytics coordinator, managed the team’s recruiting database and handled facility scheduling. He also assisted with player academics and summer camps.
Riley earned first team All-NWC honors his final three seasons as a Pirate after starting 112 of 114 games in his career. He finished with 1,664 points (14.6 per game) to rank fourth in Whitworth history and made 43.1 percent of his three-point attempts (300-of-696).
He averaged 16.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a senior when he earned third team All-Region (D3hoops.com) honors. He made 45.6 percent of his shots from the field and 41.6 percent from three-point range (82-of-197). Riley drained a school-record 10 three-pointers and finished with 33 points in a 115-69 triumph over Willamette on Feb. 11, 2011. The Pirates finished 28-2 and advanced to the Elite Eight of the D-III Tournament for the first time in school history.
In his junior season, he averaged 13.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game and made 40.9 percent of his 3-point shots (65-of-159). Riley scored 34 points in a win over Whitman on January 19, 2010. He helped Whitworth to a 26-3 record that included a perfect 16-0 mark in the NWC and a trip to the Sweet 16 of the D-III Tournament.
He averaged 16.4 points and 4.1 rebounds as a sophomore while making 84-of-180 3-pointers (46.7 percent). He scored a career-high 37 points in a win over PLU on Jan. 17, 2009. Whitworth finished second in the NWC during the regular season, but upset Puget Sound in the conference tournament and advanced to the D-III second round. The Pirates finished 23-6.
He averaged 11.9 points and 69-of-160 3-pointers (43.1) in his freshman campaign. He scored 29 points in a win over Caltech on Nov. 24, 2007, in just the second game of his Pirate career. He helped the Pirates finish 21-7, win the NWC regular season championship and advance to the D-III Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.
Riley is formerly from Palo Alto, Calif., and graduated from Gunn High School in 2007. He earned All-Central Coast Section honors as a senior at Gunn.
He was born Nov. 28, 1988, in Seattle Washington. His father, Edward Riley, is a Whitworth graduate and is currently a physician and professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Edward’s brother, Mike Riley, grew up in Wallace, Idaho, and began his coaching career in 1976 at Whitworth. He received his master’s degree in 1977 and has since gone on to head coaching positions at Nebraska (2015-present), Oregon State (1997-98, 2003-2014), the San Diego Chargers (1999-2001) and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (1987-1990). Mike and Edward’s father, Bud Riley, was an assistant football coach at Idaho (1962-65), Oregon State (1965-72) and the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1974-77).
David Riley’s mother, Rev. Renee Riley, also graduated from Whitworth and was ordained in 1986. She was the Moderator of the Presbytery of San Jose in 1998. She passed away on April 6, 2005, at the age of 45 from a brain tumor.
Bobby Suarez, who has spent the last four seasons at Florida State, enters his first year on the staff of first-year head coach Shantay Legans as an assistant coach in the 2017-18 season.
The 2012 graduate of Florida Gulf Coast will join veteran assistant David Riley and newcomer Nick Booker on Legans’ staff.
“Bobby is a great addition to our staff, right before the July recruiting period,” said Legans. “He is energetic, well-connected, and ready to hit the ground running right away.”
“What impressed me the most about Bobby was his attentiveness and desire to work hard and win,” added Legans. “He has been around winning basketball programs all of his career, and coupled with the international experience he has acquired, I have no doubt he will be a great fit to our basketball team and the Cheney community.”
“I look forward to helping build on what Coach Legans has done here for the last nine years,” said Suarez. “I’m excited to help Eastern continue to compete for league championships and NCAA Tournament berths with high-character student-athletes. Go Eags!”
Serving at Florida State under two-time ACC Coach of the Year Leonard Hamilton, Suarez was assistant video coordinator for the Seminoles. His responsibilities include preparing team and individual video edits, self-scouts, opponent video breakdowns, film exchange, scouting reports and recruiting videos.
He was also an assistant director of the Leonard Hamilton Basketball Team Camp held annually during the summer. While at Florida State, Suarez worked with closely with Malik Beasley, Dwayne Bacon, and Jonathan Isaac -- all first round NBA Draft picks. Also, he worked with Okaro White, now a member of the Miami Heat.
Suarez served as a director of operations intern and as a head student manager while at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Fla., from 2009-2013. Suarez’s responsibilities included on-court development, compiling video edits and assisting with on-campus recruiting. He was also the assistant director of the Andy Enfield Summer camp.
He was a member of the now famous “Dunk City” team that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. During that magical 2013 season, Florida Gulf Coast won the Atlantic Sun Tournament championship to earn the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles defeated No. 2 seeded Georgetown and No. 7 seeded San Diego State, becoming the first No. 15 seed to advance to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
Suarez worked with four all-conference players during his time at Florida Gulf Coast: Brett Comer (who finished his career ranked 24th on the all-time NCAA career assists list), Bernard Thompson (the 2013 Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year), Chase Fieler (the all-time program leader for rebounds, blocked shots and field goals made) and Sherwood Brown (2013 All-America Honorable Mention selection and the 2013 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year).
In 2014, Suarez worked for Orlando Antigua (now the head coach at USF) and assisted with day to day operations of the Dominican Republic National team.
In 2017, Suarez worked with the Team USA Junior National team with day-to-day operations and on court development.
Suarez earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2012.
“I want to thank Coach Hamilton, Coach Jones, Coach CY, Coach Gates, Coach Nutt and Jacob Ridenhour for all the knowledge they have given me over my four years at Florida State,” he added. “I thank Coach Legans for the opportunity to work for such a great staff, university and community.”