Jim Turgeon has hired Rob Beckmann as his Assistant Coach at Independence Community College. The Indy Pirates, famously known as #DreamU from the Netflix show Last Chance U, landed a huge hire with Turgeon being named Head Coach in late August. Previously, Turgeon had been the Head Coach at the University of Denver (NCAA D1) along with NCAA D2 and NJCAA programs, amassing over 400 total wins in his career.
Upon his arrival in Kansas, Turgeon immediately set his sights on finding an assistant to build the program and take aim at winning both the Jayhawk Conference and a NJCAA Championship. After a nationwide search, Turgeon tabbed Beckmann, who has spent the last several years rebuilding, revamping, and creating programs from scratch at every level from High School to AAU to NJCAA Division 1 for both Women’s and Men’s basketball programs.
“I was looking for three things,” Coach Turgeon said. “I wanted loyalty, hard work, and a real passion for coaching basketball. Talking to Rob and those who know him, it was clear he had all of these qualities. I feel very lucky to get such a quality coach and a quality person this time of year.”
Most recently, Beckmann spent the last two years as Associate Head Coach of the Men’s basketball program at the State College of Florida, a NJCAA Division 1 program in Bradenton, Florida. The move to Indy marks a move back to coaching women’s basketball, which Beckmann had coached previously.
“Kelsey Plum once famously commented, ‘I don’t play women’s basketball, I play basketball,'” said Beckmann. “I feel the same about coaching. I love coaching basketball and I don’t care whether it’s men or women. I go where I’m needed and I put my heart and soul into helping players get to the next level on and off the court.”
Beckmann proved his value to the SCF Manatees Men’s squad, which had struggled for several years prior to his arrival. In his two seasons there, Beckmann helped radically change the culture for the fledgling Manatees by innovating new offensive and defensive systems to spread the floor, push the tempo, and commit to the core principles of grit, aggressiveness, and an attacking mentality.
In turn, Beckmann was the architect of one of the fastest and most prolific offenses nationally in Men’s NJCAA Division 1, as the Manatees averaged 29.7 transition points per game during their 2019-20 campaign and led the entire state of Florida in scoring for the first half of the season. From 2018 to 2020, SCF Basketball had its most successful two-year run of the current century, as it won the Suncoast Conference Tournament Championship twice and made the Florida State Tournament in consecutive seasons.
The 2019-20 campaign at SCF also produced three NCAA Division 1 players in D’Moi Hodge (Cleveland State) who ranked first in the state of Florida and second nationally in total points scored, Isiah Dasher (University of Portland), and Remy Robert (Wichita State), along with NCAA Division 2 players Chris Scarborough (Holy Names University) and Max Bell-Ramos (Lane College).
Despite his success at SCF, the opportunity to work at Independence was too valuable to pass up.
“Working with Coach Turgeon is a dream,” Beckmann said. “He has been a winner at every level, including places where no one thought you could win. I have tried to fashion my own career in the same way. Whether it be a school like Independence which has had success and is nationally known or a totally unknown school with no history, I’m going to coach the players up and create success. There is a lot I hope to contribute and learn while working with Coach Turgeon.”
Prior to his tenure at SCF, Beckmann was the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Sarasota Military Academy High School in Sarasota, Florida, inheriting a team that had only won one single game in the program’s entire history. In his second season, the team won 16 games, earning Beckmann Coach of the Year honors in his district. In his third season, Beckmann again won Coach of the Year for the second-straight year as SMA defeated multiple Top 10 teams in the state and won the school’s first ever playoff game for Men or Women in one of Florida’s most difficult districts.
In 2016, Beckmann founded and began serving as Head Coach for the travel team BAE Sports, which competed in AAU, USSSA, and US Amateur tournaments. For three years, the team was perennially ranked in the Top 10 in the state of Florida and produced multiple NCAA Division-1, -2, and -3 basketball players and NAIA players.
Having arrived on the ICC campus and having started basketball practices and weight room sessions, Beckmann is excited about the potential for the upcoming season for the Pirates.
“We have a great group here with players from all over the world,” Beckmann said. “They are very coachable and hungry. Through Netflix and social media, the world has come to know the Indy Pirates. With this team, we’re planning to coach them up and accomplish big things so everyone keeps hearing about Independence now and for a long time to come.”Independence CC Jim Turgeon Juco