HIGH POINT, N.C. — High Point University men’s basketball head coach Tubby Smith has announced that Keith Gatlin has been hired as an assistant coach. Smith also announced that Eric Gabriel and Scott Lombardi will continue with the Panther program in their current roles as assistant coach and director of operations, respectively.
Gatlin comes to HPU after nine years as the boys basketball coach at nearby Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point. He led the Trojans to NCISAA Championships in 2013 and 2014 and the Trojans were state runner-ups in 2015 and 2017.
Before being at Wesleyan Christian, Gatlin was the boys basketball coach at Veritas Academy in Kernersville, was the girls coach at Greensboro Day School and was an assistant boys coach at GDS serving under Freddy Johnson.
Gatlin was standout guard at the University of Maryland in the 1980s playing under legendary coach Lefty Drissell and won the 1984 ACC Tournament with the Terps. He played professionally in the CBA for the Tulsa Fast Breakers, Quad City Thunder and Pensacola Tornados. Gatlin also played professionally in Germany, Greece, France and Lebanon. He won the 1994 German Cup with Brandt Hagen.
Gatlin graduated from Maryland in 1988 with a degree in African-American Studies. He and his wife, Wendy, have a son, Kaleb.
“We are so excited to have Keith join our coaching staff,” Smith said. “He brings years of teaching and coaching experience. He has competed at every level of competition and played for outstanding coaches in high school, college and professional. He is well respected in North Carolina and around the nation.
“Having been a head coach at Wesleyan Christian where he developed an excellent basketball program with good players, we know he will help us recruit and develop successful young men at HPU. Keith is an extraordinary father, husband and coach that will make Panther Basketball better.”
“I am excited to join the Panther community,” Gatlin said. “I am honored and blessed to have the opportunity to work along side the incredibly accomplished and future Hall of Fame coach Tubby Smith and all of the HPU men’s basketball coaches and staff. I especially look forward to working with all of the talented student-athletes on the HPU basketball team!”
Gabriel joined the HPU men’s basketball staff in 2013 as director of video operations and was promoted to assistant coach in 2015. This upcoming season will be his fourth season as assistant coach. Gabriel came to the Triad from Shepherd University, where he served as an assistant coach. He also previously worked at Mount Olive College and Methodist University.
Lombardi joined the HPU staff in 2014 and is entering his fifth season as the director of operations. He worked for seven seasons in an operations role at George Mason under head coaches Jim Larranaga and Paul Hewitt.
“I am beyond grateful for the diligent work Eric and Scott have put in during the transition period and since I have arrived,” Smith said. “They have been a big help and I can’t say enough about those two young men. I am excited to continue working with them to make Panther Basketball better as well.”