Bruiser Flint officially added to Kentucky Basketball staff


BLOOMINGTON, IN – NOVEMBER 05, 2017 – Indiana Hoosiers Assistant Coach Bruiser Flint during the exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds and the Indiana Hoosiers at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN. Photo By Craig Bisacre/Indiana Athletics

Barkley Truax

The open assistant position on Kentucky’s basketball staff didn’t remain available for long, with John Calipari bringing in a friend and former colleague to fill the void.

On Monday, the Cats officially announced the hire of James “Bruiser” Flint to John Calipari’s staff. Flint, who has over 30 years of basketball coaching experience, previously worked under Coach Cal for a seven-year stretch at Massachusetts (1989-1996).

Flint replaces Kenny Payne, who left for the New York Knicks earlier this month.

“Bruiser and I go back to our days at UMass,” Calipari said in a press relase. “Bru is not only a terrific coach, he’s like my brother. You’re not going to find anyone that says a bad word about him.”

“He forms great relationships with players because he listens, has a terrific personality and can relate to anyone,” Calipari added. “Bruiser has an incredible basketball mind and is going to help us in a lot of ways.”

“I am so excited to get started in Lexington,” Flint said in the press release. “Kentucky, as Coach Cal likes to say, is the gold standard in college basketball.”

“Going back to our time at UMass, Coach Cal has been both a brother and a mentor to me for 30 years. I have always had great respect for his approach and his care for his players,” he continued. “He and I both believe that when you put players first — when you make their dreams your dreams — we can accomplish special things.”

In his three seasons at Indiana, Flint was able to help recruit two McDonald’s All-Americans: Romeo Langford (2018) and Trayce Jackson-Davis (2019). The Hoosiers produced the No. 11 recruiting class in the country in both 2018 and 2020 with him on staff.

Flint has won 331 games as a head coach, including a school-record 245 in 15 years with Drexel, where he was a four-time Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year.