Months after former star player and assistant coach Ira Bowman left Penn men’s basketball for Auburn in July, head coach Steve Donahue announced the promotion of one of Bowman’s former Penn teammates.
Nat Graham, who played two seasons with the current Auburn assistant from 1993-1995, was named Associate Head Coach on Monday.
In his time as a player, Graham was a part of two Ivy League championship teams, averaging 2.4 points per game and 1.8 rebounds over the course his career for the Red and Blue. Following his sophomore season, Graham transferred to the University of Western Ontario, where he was a two-time captain and Ontario University Athletics West first-team selection.
Since entering the coaching ranks, the former Canadian basketball standout has spent a total of 12 seasons on the bench with Donahue across three stops at Cornell, Boston College, and Penn.
Graham was on Donahue’s staff when Cornell made a surprising run to the sweet sixteen of the NCAA tournament as a No. 12 seed in 2010. He has also spent the most consecutive seasons on Penn’s coaching staff dating back to 2014, a year before Donahue was hired following the firing of former coach Jerome Allen.
"His leadership and mentoring over the last three seasons is a big reason why we achieved the success we have,” Donahue said of Graham in Penn Athletics' press release. “He is a terrific recruiter and as good as there is in the tactical side of the game.”
The last remaining link to the Jerome Allen tenure, Graham has helped the Quakers improve from 9-19 in Allen’s last season at Penn to a 24-9 Ivy League championship season this past year under Donahue. Between his time as a player and coach, Graham has been apart of four Ivy League championships — two as a player and two as a coach.
Graham will hope to add to his championship collection this upcoming season with a team that returns most of its offensive output from a year ago.