MANHATTAN, Kan. – First-year Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang made another addition to his coaching staff on Friday (April 1) with the selection of veteran assistant coach Ulric Maligi (pronounced YUR-ick MAL-uh-ghee) as the program’s associate head coach.
“We are excited to welcome Ulric, his wife Courtney and son JJ to the K-State Family,” said Tang. “When I began the process of building my staff, Ulric was at top of my list. He is not only one of the best recruiters that I have ever been around, but he is one of the top basketball minds in the country, having learned from some of the best in the business. In addition to his talents as a coach, he is also an outstanding husband and father and will be a perfect fit in helping me and the rest of the staff elevate this program.”
Maligi is the third announced member of Tang’s inaugural coaching staff at K-State following Jareem Dowling, who was named an assistant coach on Tuesday (March 29) and Marco Borne, who was named Chief of Staff on Wednesday (March 30). Other additions will be announced as they become official.
An assistant coach with 15 years of experience and deep ties to the state of Texas, Maligi arrives at K-State after spending the last three seasons on staff with head coach Chris Beard at both Texas Tech (2019-21) and Texas (2021-22). In addition to his time with the Red Raiders and Longhorns, he has also been an assistant at UT-Arlington (2006-07), Stephen F. Austin (2007-10), Houston (2010-12), SMU (2012-15) and Texas A&M (2016-19).
All told, Maligi has been a part of coaching staffs that have won 300 games – averaging 20 wins per season in his coaching career – and advanced to the postseason on eight occasions, including five NCAA Tournaments (2009, 2015, 2018, 2021, 2022). He has also helped teams register eight 20-win seasons, including at least one at five of his seven stops, and collect five conference titles. In addition to his coaching experience, he also spent a year (2015-16) as the National Scouting Director for John Lucas Enterprises based in Houston.
“My family and I are honored and extremely excited to partner with Coach Tang and the K-State family,” said Maligi. “The past three seasons, I grew as a basketball coach and tactician under the tutelage of Coach Chris Beard at Texas and Texas Tech. During our time together, we accomplished many special things. I look forward to being a part of impacting the young men’s lives we are blessed to coach here at Kansas State on and off the court. Under the leadership of Coach Jerome Tang, I’m confident K-State basketball will consistently be one of the top teams in the country. His impact on my life for the last 20 years made my decision easy to join him in Manhattan. He’s an elite coach, communicator, culture creator and leader of men well beyond the basketball court.”
Maligi has been lauded for his accomplishments on the court, as he was recognized by both ESPN and The Athletic on their “40 under 40” lists for the top individuals in college basketball. He was listed 14th on The Athletic’s “40 under 40” list by Seth Davis which acknowledged the rising stars under the age of 40 in November 2021, while a group of ESPN writers selected him 13th on their list of top coaches under the age of 40 in May 2020.
Known for his abilities to recruit high-level players, Maligi has coached and/or recruited 18 NBA players in his coaching career, including Robert Williams III (Boston Celtics/Texas A&M), Danuel House, Jr. (Utah Jazz/Texas A&M), Shake Milton (Philadelphia 76ers/SMU) and Jahmi’us Ramsey (Sacramento Kings/Texas Tech). In all, he has also helped sign 20 prospects ranked among the top 100 recruits in the country.
Maligi was instrumental in helping Texas Tech sign a recruiting class in 2020 that was ranked No. 7 nationally by Rivals and No. 9 by 247Sports and included Jordan Brand All-American Micah Peevy and top Division I transfers Mac McClung (Georgetown) and Marcus Santos-Silva (VCU). He was also part of a staff that delivered Top 20 recruiting classes at both SMU (No. 14 in 2014) and Houston (No. 20 in 2012). Most recently, he helped sign a consensus top 10 class at Texas in 2022 that was ranked No. 7 nationally by Rivals and No. 10 by 247Sports and included pledges from two 5-stars and a 4-star recruit.
Maligi was apart of 58 wins and two NCAA Tournament appearances in three seasons as an assistant coach for Beard at both Texas Tech (2019-21) and Texas (2021-22).
This past season, Maligi helped the Longhorns post a 22-12 record, including a fourth-place finish with a 10-8 mark in the Big 12, and earn a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where they collected their first NCAA Tournament win since 2014 with an 81-73 first-round victory over Virginia Tech. Five players earned All-Big 12 honors, including Second Team and All-Newcomer distinction by Timmy Allen and Third Team honors by Marcus Carr.
Texas Tech won 18 games in each of Maligi’s two seasons as an assistant coach and most likely would have earned two NCAA Tournament appearances if not for the 2020 tournament being canceled due to COVID-19.
The 2020-21 Red Raiders posted an 18-11 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round before a narrow 68-66 loss to Elite Eight-bound Arkansas. The team was ranked in the AP Top 25 throughout the entire season for the first time in school history, reaching as high as No. 7 in February. Four players earned All-Big 12 accolades, including Second Team selection Mac McClung and Third Team pick Terrence Shannon, Jr.
During the abbreviated 2019-20 season, Texas Tech finished with an 18-13 record, including a tie for third in the Big 12 with a 9-9 mark. The Red Raiders had a pair of top-15 wins, including a victory over No. 1 Louisville, 70-57, at the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Three players earned All-Big 12 recognition, including Second Team and All-Freshman selection Jahmi’us Ramsey. Following the season, Ramsey was drafted No. 43 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings.
Maligi worked three seasons (2016-19) at Texas A&M for head coach Billy Kennedy, helping the Aggies win 52 games and advance to the 2018 Sweet 16. During their magical run to the Sweet 16, the team defeated Providence and North Carolina before falling to Michigan to cap the 2017-18 season with 22 wins. He helped mentor a pair of All-SEC selections during that time, including Second Team pick Robert Williams III in 2017 and First Team pick Tyler Davis in 2018. Williams was selected with the No. 27 overall pick by the Boston Celtics in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Maligi spent three seasons (2012-15) as an assistant coach at SMU under Hall of Fame head coach Larry Brown. After a 15-17 record in year one, he was part of staff that guided the Mustangs to consecutive 27-win seasons and included trips to the NIT Finals in 2014 and the NCAA Tournament in 2015.
Maligi helped SMU post the third-best turnaround in Division I in his second season with a plus-12-win total, as the Mustangs tallied a 27-10 record and advanced to the 2014 NIT Championship game. The school then took another step in 2014-15, winning the inaugural American Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1992-93.
During his stint at SMU, Maligi helped coach five American All-Conference selections, including 2015 AAC Player of the Year and two-time First Team pick Nic Moore, 2015 AAC Sixth Man of the Year and two-time Second Team pick Markus Kennedy and 2015 AAC Most Improved Player Yanick Moreira. In addition, three Mustang players who signed during Maligi’s time were later selected in the NBA Draft, including Sterling Brown (No. 46 by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2017), Semi Ojeleye (No. 37 by the Boston Celtics in 2017) and Shake Milton (No. 54 by the Dallas Mavericks in 2018).
In between his stints at SMU and Texas A&M, Maligi worked as the national scouting director for John Lucas Enterprises in Houston for one year (2015-16). In his role, he helped identify, evaluate and skill train talented players from across the country. He also served as the camp director for all of Lucas’ fifth through 12th grade camps and mentored student-athletes who participated in the drug rehabilitation program.
Maligi spent two seasons (2010-12) at Houston under head coach James Dickey, where he helped the Cougars to a 20-win season and a trip to the CBI quarterfinals in 2010-11. His recruiting prowess was on full display while at Houston, as he played a role in building the school’s top 20 recruiting class that included a pair of ESPN top-100 signees in Danrad “Chicken” Knowles and 2012-13 Conference USA Freshman of the Year Danuel House. He also recruited TaShawn Thomas, an ESPN top-100 recruit, who earned C-USA All-Freshman Team honors in 2011-12 and was a First Team selection in 2012-13.
Maligi had a highly productive three-year stint (2007-10) at Stephen F. Austin, where he helped the Lumberjacks post a 73-23 (.760) record, including a 37-11 (.771) mark in league play, to go along with a pair of Southland Conference regular-season championships (2008, 2009) and one tournament title (2009). The team advanced to the postseason twice, including a trip to the NIT in 2008 and the NCAA Tournament in 2009.
Maligi began his coaching career as an assistant under head coach Scott Cross at UT Arlington in 2006-07.
Maligi was selected to participate in the 2021 Top Connect symposium, which helps connect assistant coaches with athletic administrators from around the country. He has also been involved in the NCAA and BCA Achieving Coaching (ACE) Program, which seeks to prepare minority coaches for success as future head coaches.
Maligi graduated cum laude from Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology in 2006.
A native of Arlington, Texas, Maligi and his wife, Dr. Courtney Maligi, have a son, JJ (Justin Josiah).
Assistant Coach, UT-Arlington, 2006-07
Assistant Coach, Stephen F. Austin, 2007-10
Assistant Coach, Houston, 2010-12
Assistant Coach, SMU, 2012-15
National Scouting Director, John Lucas Enterprises, 2015-16
Assistant Coach, Texas A&M, 2016-19
Assistant Coach, Texas Tech, 2019-21
Assistant Coach, Texas, 2021-22
Associate Head Coach, Kansas State, 2022-present
Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Physiology, Howard, 2006 [cum laude]
Wife: Dr. Courtney Maligi
Children: son Justin Josiah (JJ)
The Maligi Assistant Coaching File
Year School Overall Conference Postseason
2006-07 UT Arlington 13-17 8-8 (3rd West) —
2007-08 Stephen F. Austin 26-6 13-3 (t-1st) NIT First Round
2008-09 Stephen F. Austin 24-8 13-3 (1st) NCAA First Round
2009-10 Stephen F. Austin 23-9 11-5 (2nd) —
2010-11 Houston 20-13 7-9 (t-7th) CBI Quarterfinals
2011-12 Houston 15-15 7-9 (t-8th) —
2012-13 SMU 15-17 5-11 (11th) —
2013-14 SMU 27-10 12-6 (t-3rd) NIT Runner-up
2014-15 SMU 27-7 15-3 (1st) NCAA First Round
2016-17 Texas A&M 16-15 8-10 (t-9th) —
2017-18 Texas A&M 22-13 9-9 (t-7th) NCAA Sweet 16
2018-19 Texas A&M 14-18 6-12 (11th) —
2019-20 Texas Tech 18-13 9-9 (t-3rd) Canceled due to COVID-19
2020-21 Texas Tech 18-11 9-8 (6th) NCAA Second Round
2021-22 Texas 22-12 10-8 (3rd) NCAA Second Round
Totals (15 years) 300-184 (.620) 142-113 (.557) 8 Postseason Appearances