After two years as an assistant coach for Penn basketball, Scott Pera is leaving for a new opportunity.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Pera, the Quakers’ recruiting coordinator for the last two seasons, will leave Penn for Rice, where he will be a member of new coach Mike Rhoades’ staff.
Pera has known Rhoades since Rhoades was a college basketball player at Lebanon Valley College (Pa.) while Pera was the head coach at Annville-Cleona High School (Pa.). Rhoades was previously a member of Shaka Smart’s coaching staff at VCU, where he served as an associate head coach.
The Quakers struggled in Pera’s time at Penn, going just 17-42 in two seasons. Pera has been a part of Penn’s last couple recruiting classes, including this year’s freshman class comprised of guards Tony Bagtas, Matt Howard and Preston Troutt, as well as Dylan Jones and Dave Winfield Jr..
Pera is close with senior captain Miles Jackson-Cartwright, directing the Double Pump Skills Camp that Jackson-Cartwright and his brother Parker attended at a young age.
Before coming to Penn, Pera coached at Annville-Cleona and Artesia High School (Calif.) before joining the staff at Arizona State. Pera began his time at Arizona State as the director of basketball operations before working his way to full-time assistant and eventually recruiting coordinator.
Pera coached NBA All-Star James Harden at both Artesia and Arizona State, becoming a mentor for the future Gold Medal-winning basketball player.
Harden told MyFox Houston that Pera was his “mentor from ninth grade on,” and credited his former coach for getting him to where he is today. Harden was excited for his mentor’s new job.
“Definitely, top of the line, an amazing coach,” Harden said. ”[He’s] soon to be a head coach one day. I’m happy for him. I’m proud of him.”
Penn coach Jerome Allen will now need to find a new recruiting coordinator and member of the coaching staff, with current assistants Ira Bowman and Jason Polykoff still on board. Allen has had the same three assistants for the last two seasons after having to replace all three of his assistants following the 2011-12 season.