KEARNEY, Neb. Nebraska-Kearney head men's basketball coach Marty Levinson announced today that Mitch Runco and Rob Fuller will serve as his assistant coaches.

Runco will have the title of "Head Assistant" with the pair officially starting their duties this month. 

Runco most recently was the head boys' basketball coach at Omaha Westview High School (2022-24). Previously, he was head boys' basketball coach and Athletic Director at St. Bernard High School (2012-20) in Playa Del Rey, Calif. While there, Fuller was one of his players and the program was the 2016 state runners up, won a 2015 CIF title and produced two CIF Players of the Year.

"Having Coach Runco join our program is as important as any recruit. Mitch has a positive and natural energy to him that gives every program he is a part of a big boost. I have personally watched Mitch build successful High School programs at St Bernard's and Westview. He sincerely likes and cares about his players and builds quality relationships with them that last well beyond their basketball career," said Levinson

The first head basketball coach in Westview history, Runco has also been greatly involved with the adidas grassroots 3SSB club circuit. He was director of basketball operations and head coach for the OSA Crusaders (2008-11), head AAU coach of the Compton Magic (2014-21) and program director for ETG Midwest (2021-24). ETG (Everything to Gain) is one of the premier youth basketball organizations in the Midwest with many of its players having earned college scholarships.

"We're very similar in a lot of our philosophies, and I'm really excited to be able to rely on Mitch for some big decisions. He was not only a great HS coach but also has extensive experience in AAU with the "Compton Magic" and "Everything To Gain", the Adidas Circuit team out of Omaha," said Levinson. "Mitch has coached many NBA level caliber players throughout his career and has had access to NBA skill trainer Drew Hanlen and his clients who include recent NBA Champion Jason Tatum. He has traveled far and showed up to work many days and has earned his stripes. I can't wait to see the fruit that Mitch helps grow in his time in Kearney."

At Kansas, Runco was a student manager from 2004-08, working under head coach Bill Self and being a part of four Big XII titles and the 2008 national championship. He graduated with a B.S. in General Studies.

After playing for Runco at St. Bernard, Fuller went onto East Los Angeles College and Division II Holy Names University (Oakland.). He helped East L.A. win 47 games and two league titles while leading the Pac West Conference in assist/turnover ratio in 2019-20 playing for HNU. He also was in the league's top five in both scoring and assists that season. Finally, Fuller was a two-time Academic All-Pac West qualifier who earned a Business Administration degree.

"Rob brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to Loper Basketball. Growing up in the heart of the basketball scene in Los Angeles, he knows what it takes to play at the high major Division I level as well as how to grind it out at the CCCAA level," said Levinson. "When Rob was coming out of high school, I tried to recruit him to Saddleback College only to coach against him at East LA. Watching Rob's journey as a player and a Coach has been fun to see and I'm glad we're finally on the same team."

Fuller began his coaching career at Price High School in Los Angeles before moving onto ETG Midwest and Westview in 2022. He also was a player development coach for two years at the Jerred Cook Skills Development, working one-on-one with professional players.

"After graduating from Holy Names, Rob jumped back into the LA basketball scene for the Los Angeles Premier AAU organization before moving to Omaha to help Mitch with ETG and Omaha Westview. I always say point guards make great coaches and he is the definition of a point guard. He will make every one of us better every day and I can't wait to see Rob's work pay off for the Lopers," said Levinson.

UNK will announce some more newcomers to the roster in the coming weeks.