University of Memphis head coach John Calipari started his family tree during his first coaching stint in Amherst, Mass., and has always been there for his coaches, staff and players at both UMass and Memphis. So, when Tyrone Weeks, a former UMass standout, got the itch to get back into the college game, he turned to his former coach.
Weeks, who spent the last two years in private business, joined the Tiger basketball staff as the program's Coordinator of Basketball Operations in August of 2007. In this role, the Philadelphia, Pa., native oversees the operations side of the program, including coordinating recruits' on-campus visits, monitoring student-athletes' academic progress, updating the recruiting database and assisting with travel plans.
There is a little irony that Weeks comes to Memphis the season the Tigers have been ranked No. 1 in the summer/preseason polls and are one of the favorites to contend for the 2008 NCAA title. As a player for the Minutemen from 1994-98, Weeks was a player on the 1995-96 UMass squad that was ranked No. 1 most of the season and earned a spot in the 1996 NCAA Tournament Final Four in New Jersey.
Prior to his time in private business, Weeks had two collegiate coaching stints at Rhode Island from 2001-05 and St. Bonaventure from 1999-2001. During his time in Kingston, R.I., Weeks worked under head coach Jim Baron, and his primary responsibilities were working with the squad's big men, overseeing the strength and conditioning program and assisting with recruiting.
Weeks helped the Rams to back-to-back 20-win campaigns and postseason berths in 2002-03 and 2003-04. Rhode Island went 20-11 and advanced to the NIT second round in 2002-03. The 20-win season and postseason bid was the program's first since 1998-99.
The Rams followed up their successful 2002-03 campaign with a 20-14 mark and another NIT berth in 2003-04. Rhode Island advanced to the NIT second round. The consecutive 20-win seasons and postseason berths were a first for the Ram program since 1997-98 and 1998-99.
Before following him to Rhode Island, Weeks served under Baron at St. Bonaventure from 1999-2001. While in Olean, N.Y., Weeks worked with the Bonnies' big men, assisted with game preparation, coordinated preseason and postseason workouts, supervised study hall and conducted on- and off-campus recruiting.
In his rookie season as a collegiate coach in 1999-2000, Weeks helped guide the Bonnies to a 21-10 record and the program's first NCAA Tournament bid since 1978. St. Bonaventure made the most of its 2000 NCAA appearance, taking the heavily-favored Kentucky Wildcats to the limit before falling 95-90 in a thrilling double-overtime, first-round game. The following year in 2000-01, the Bonnies posted an 18-12 mark and earned an NIT berth.
The Tigers' new addition's success story began as a player during his collegiate days at UMass. A standout high school player at Philadelphia's Franklin Learning Center, Weeks played at UMass from 1994-98. The 6-foot-7 power forward helped lead the Minutemen to a combined record of 104-32 (29-5 as a freshman, 35-2 as a sophomore, 19-14 as a junior and 21-11 as a senior) and four-straight NCAA Tournaments. UMass advanced to the Elite Eight in 1995 and the Final Four in 1996.
During that Final Four run, Weeks led the Minutemen with 16 points in an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 win over Arkansas. In his final college game in the 1998 NCAA Tournament, Weeks grabbed 16 boards versus Saint Louis, coming within one board of tying the school's postseason tournament record.
Weeks averaged 12.6 points as a junior and 10.1 points as a senior, while pulling down 8.8 boards both years. He scored 1,013 career points, and his 858 career boards rank in the top 10 in UMass basketball history. At the time, he was only the eighth player in UMass basketball history to score 1,000 points and grab 800 rebounds. Weeks was UMass' leading rebounder in the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons.
Weeks, who served as team captain his junior and senior seasons, lettered all four years for the Minutemen. He earned his bachelor's degree in Education from UMass in 1997.
Following his college career, Weeks played professionally in the United States Basketball League (USBL) with the Camden (N.J.) Power and then in Argentina, before heading into the collegiate coaching ranks. He also coached at the Rasheed Wallace Foundation summer camp in Philadelphia for four years.
Weeks and his wife, Kimberly, have two sons, T.J. (7) and Tyriek (4).