Its Final Four week and TGR will be covering the Jewish (and just fun) stories. We have some great interviews lined-up. First we got to speak with Jeremy Shyatt, an Assistant Coach at Wyoming (and former player). His father Larry (interview coming soon), now a coach with the Dallas Mavericks, raised Jeremy around the game that its basically in his DNA to coach. We caught up with the up and coming coach who is a Cowboy through and through.
1) Tell TGR readers about yourself?
I have been around basketball my entire life, as a son of a coach, player, and now coach. Have been fortunate to be in the business this long, and basketball has really helped me experience some pretty cool places and meet some remarkable people. I think something that is unique about me is that I try to be extremely well rounded. I have a lot of hobbies outside of basketball, and most of my friends have nothing to do with the sport…it’s an excellent release for me so that I don’t get consumed 24/7 with my job.
2) What was it like growing up with a father as a coach at such a high level?
It was great. I was able to see first hand what the profession entailed. My days as a little kid running around at New Mexico, Providence, Clemson, and even Wyoming as a high school junior were awesome, and I enjoyed my relationships with the players my dad coached. Attending various Big East, ACC and NCAA Tournaments were always a highlight of my brothers and myself. I can remember with fond memories following my dad around the Final Four coaches convention and just couldn’t believe at the amount of coaches in one place at one time.
3) When did you realize playing college basketball was in your future?
Actually not until the summer before my freshman year. I had been planning on attending the University of Georgia, as a business student, with nothing to do with college basketball. It wasn’t until Scott Duncan, one of the assistants at Clemson at the time, convinced me to walk on the basketball team…I am glad he did because I wouldn’t have traded my four years at Clemson for anything.
4) What led you to coach after your playing days?
I knew from an early age I didn’t have the talent to play professionally and I always knew I had far more intellect than athletic ability. I loved listening to coaches I knew and tried to learn as much as possible. Thank God I developed a photographic memory, and tried to apply a little wisdom from every coach I have ever worked for to add to my coaching philosophy.
5) Have you enjoyed your time thus far? How is Cowboy Nation treating you?
The eight years here in Laramie have been amazing. It’s a great college town who love their Cowboys, but the unique thing about Wyoming is it’s the only four year college in the state. There is a lot of state pride for the Pokes! Winning the Mountain West championship in 2015 has definitely been my professional highlight, but personally I will always have a place in my heart for Wyoming as it is where I met my wife Felicia, and our son Mason was born.
6) What are your long term plans with basketball?
I would love to be around the game as long as it will have me, either as an assistant coach or one day a head coach.
7) What was your Jewish life like growing up? Are you connected as an adult?
Uniquely, my mom is Presbyterian and my dad is Jewish, so our family was able to experience a lot of different traditions and holidays. We probably weren’t as religious as most, because we did try and get a little taste here and there but we were always proud of our heritage and our roots. As an adult, I had a blast helping Doug Gottlieb with the Maccabi games as far as tryouts a couple summers ago. Even though I was unable to make the trip across seas, it was definitely a rewarding experience getting up to New York City to help out. To this day, Steve Pearl is one of my closest friends in college basketball.
8) Where can people find you on social media? Anything else to add?
You can find me on twitter at @coachshyatt – Appreciate the opportunity having me a part of this!