Culver Announces Staff for 2012-13 Season

By Chris Spomer published August 29, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of Colorado Colorado Springs Head Men's Basketball Coach Jeff Culver has announced his coaching staff for the 2012-13 season. Preseason conditioning and individual workouts are underway with the official start of practices in less than seven weeks on Oct. 15.

Jeff Sweet, Alex Snyder and Ian Ely-Cate join the staff as assistant coaches, while Aaron Suma joins as a strength and conditioning coach. The four individuals combine for more than 25 years of experience between the high school and collegiate levels.

Sweet spent last season as an assistant coach with Johnson & Wales University with Culver. He was a member of a staff that coached Jake Campbell to All-Association of Independent Institutions honors and two student-athletes to NAIA Scholar-Athlete accolades. Sweet was previously the head coach at Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where he put together 21 consecutive winning seasons. The Olympians advanced to the state semifinals in 2000, the state quarterfinals four times, and to the round of 16 in 13 of his 21 seasons. He put together a coaching record of 321-167 in 21 seasons from 1990 through 2011.

"We are very fortunate to have someone with Coach Sweet's experience on our staff this season," Culver said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for the game of basketball."

Snyder is a 2010 graduate of UCCS and spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Otero Junior College. He was the men's assistant during the 2010-11 season and working in recruiting, player development, weight training developing, basketball camps and fitness center maintenance. In the 2011-12 season, Snyder worked with the women's program in recruiting, weight training development, player development and was the team's film coordinator.

"UCCS Basketball is proud to be able to bring back one of our alumni to his hometown of Colorado Springs," Culver said. "Coach Snyder is one of the brightest and hardest working young coaches in this region."

Ely-Cate will join the staff as a graduate assistant after spending the last three seasons as the head boy's basketball coach at Columbus Junction High School. He's worked as a Youth Sports Coordinator with the City of Iowa City and as an English teacher in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Ely-Cate started his undergraduate career at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., where he was a two-year member of its basketball team. He transferred to the University of Iowa to complete his degree.

"It's not often that a program can bring a Graduate Assistant Coach on board that not only has playing experience, but also has head coaching experience," Culver said. "We're very excited about having Coach Ely-Cate join our program this season."

Suma was a volunteer assistant strength and conditioning coach at Colorado Mesa University this summer and a volunteer coach at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards, Colo., during the past spring. He completed an internship in 2008-09 with a Chinese national champion Olympic weightlifter in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Suma completed his graduate degree at the University of Northern Iowa in 2008 and was a graduate assistant with the Panthers in the fall of 2008.

"Coach Suma joins us with great knowledge in the area of strength and conditioning," Culver said. "His expertise will play a critical factor in the development of our men's basketball student-athletes."

The Mountain Lions open the 2012-13 regular season against Bemidji State on Nov. 16. UCCS begins the home season and conference schedule Nov. 30 against Fort Lewis.Culver

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