Jamal Brunt, who helped engineer success at Richmond and Miami, joined Mike Rhoades' VCU staff as assistant coach in the spring of 2018. Brunt’s appointment will be his second under Rhoades. The Baltimore, Md. native played for Rhoades at Randolph-Macon and later served on the Yellow Jackets’ staff from 2003-05.
Brunt's impact on the VCU program was immediate. Serving as the team's "defensive coordinator", Brunt watched as the Rams posted the seventh best defensive efficiency rating (89.5) in the country in 2018-19. VCU also ranked third nationally in effective field goal defense (43.5 percent) and eighth in turnover percentage (23.3). VCU's defensive output was the driving force behind the Rams' 2018-19 Atlantic 10 Conference regular season title and a return to the NCAA Tournament.
Brunt joined VCU following three seasons as assistant coach at Miami (Fla.), where he served as the team’s offensive coordinator. During Brunt’s tenure in Coral Gables, the Hurricanes reached the NCAA Tournament three times, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2016, and won 20 or more games each season. The 2015-16 team’s 27 wins were the second-most in school history, and that that squad finished the season ranked No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Hurricanes were ranked in the top 15 for a school-record 14 weeks that year.
He was an integral piece in landing the best recruiting classes in Miami history in back-to-back seasons. For the 2017-18 campaign, the staff inked three ESPN Top 100 players, including McDonald's All-American and Jordan Brand Classic All-American guard Lonnie Walker. That class was ranked seventh nationally by ESPN, eighth by Scout and 12th by Rivals. In 2016, Brunt helped the Hurricanes assemble a recruiting class that included McDonald’s All-American Dewan Huell, as well as Jordan Brand Classic All-American Bruce Brown. The group was ranked No. 9 by 247Sports, No. 10 by Scout, No. 13 by both ESPN and Rivals.
As Miami’s offensive coordinator, Brunt worked closely with 1,000-point scorer (1,343) Davon Reed, who was named Third Team All-ACC and ACC All-Defensive Team. Reed was the recipient of the 2017 Skip Prosser Award, presented annually to the top scholar-athlete in ACC men’s basketball. Brunt also mentored guard Bruce Brown, who recorded just the second triple-double in program history, as well as Sheldon McClellan, who was named USBWA All-District and Second Team All-ACC in 2015-16.
In 2015-16, Miami’s offense was ranked 11th nationally in adjusted efficiency. The Hurricanes averaged 75.2 points per game that season, fourth-most in the ACC. Under Brunt’s tutelage, Miami’s .479 field goal percentage that year was its best since the 1988-89 season. Miami’s .749 mark at the free throw line was the program’s best since the 2001-02 season.
Prior to Miami, Brunt spent 10 seasons on staff at Richmond. Brunt started at Richmond as director of operations in 2005 and was promoted to an assistant coach in 2007 and associate head coach in 2013.
Brunt helped guide Richmond to six postseason appearances, five 20-win seasons and final national rankings of No. 24 in 2009-10 and No. 21 in 2010-11. After winning their first Atlantic 10 Championship in 2010-11, the Spiders advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. In 2015, Brunt helped Richmond earn a top-four seed in the National Invitation Tournament, falling to eventual runner-up Miami in the quarterfinals.
In seven of Brunt’s last eight seasons at Richmond, the Spiders defeated 12 nationally-ranked opponents. From 2009-14, Richmond earned more wins than any other Atlantic 10 school, averaging 21.5 over that span.
In addition to on-court coaching, Brunt was responsible for scheduling, which helped the Spiders consistently carve out a top-100 RPI, and aided Richmond’s march to an NCAA at-large bid in 2010. Richmond finished in the top-100 of the RPI in five of Brunt’s last six seasons. The Spiders finished 25th in RPI in 2010 and 41st in 2011.
In his six seasons as an assistant, Brunt was integral in signing some of the most highly touted recruits in school history, beating out “Power Five” programs in the process. In 2011, Richmond’s Justin Harper was selected 32nd overall in the NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brunt also mentored Spider student-athletes in academics, helping the men’s basketball team achieve its highest GPA on record.
Before joining the Spiders basketball staff in the summer of 2005, Brunt was an assistant coach alongside Rhoades at Randolph-Macon for the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. At Randolph-Macon, Brunt was involved in all aspects of coaching, including player development, recruiting, monitoring academics, film exchange and breakdown, opponent scouting and on-court coaching.
Brunt played four seasons as a guard for Rhoades from 1999-2003 and helped lift the Yellow Jackets to NCAA Division III Sweet 16 appearances in 2002 and 2003.
He received a bachelor’s degree in international relations with a concentration in business economics from Randolph-Macon in 2003. He is married to the former Erica Glasper. The couple has two daughters, Peyton and Price.
Jamal Brunt Coaching History
2003-05 – Randolph-Macon, Assistant Coach
2005-07 – Richmond, Director of Operations
2007-13 – Richmond, Assistant Coach
2013-15 – Richmond, Associate Head Coach
2015-18 – Miami (Fla.), Assistant Coach
2018-present – VCU, Assistant Coach