On Wednesday night, former Pitt guard and Duquesne Director of Player Development Ashton Gibbs decided to take his coaching talents elsewhere, moving on to a head coaching role at The Phelps School, a prep school in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
“I loved it, I learned so much in a short period of time, you know, I loved it,” Gibbs told Pittsburgh Sports Now about his time at Duquesne. “They all just treated me like family. They welcomed me with open arms, and I was just one of the guys. Every single guy has been with them for years and years, except me basically. So for them to welcome me with open arms and to really treat me like family day in and day out, that was a huge part of why everything went so well.”
After retiring from ball, I knew I wanted to give back to the game through coaching. Thank you @DuqMBB for being the 1st to give me that opportunity. After 2 seasons w/ the Dukes, I will be taking on a new role as the head coach of The Phelps Prep School. Trust the journey. 🏀
— Ashton Gibbs (@AshtonGibbs12) April 29, 2021
Gibbs played four years for the Panthers from 2008-12, starring at guard and leading the team to three NCAA Tournament Appearances during his career. After playing a minimal role his freshman season, Gibbs ran the show starting every game in his sophomore year and averaging 15.7 points per game over his last three years.
“Probably my junior year, getting that number one seed,” Gibbs said when asked what his favorite memory at Pitt was. “Winning the Big East that year and getting the number one seed in the NCAA Tournament probably trumps everything else because I had a big part of that, I was the leading scorer and played a lot of minutes. My freshman year we went to the Elite Eight, and that was obviously a surreal moment in itself, but I didn’t play as much. So naturally, I would say my junior year when we went to the NCAA Tournament as a number one seed.”
As Gibbs leaves the place that he called home during his collegiate career and after his professional career ended, he leaves behind a legacy that will never be forgotten by fans of the sport in the steel city.
“It’s getting better and better,” Gibbs said about the Pittsburgh basketball culture. “…Overall, I think the city is embracing basketball more and more throughout these years because everybody is having their own success and there is a story behind every team. You know, Robert Morris with Andy Toole, being the great coach that he is. Coach Dambrot at Duquesne and the LeBron legacy and bringing that in. And then Coach Capel at Pitt bringing in his Duke experience. I think it is three big-time coaches that are the head of three big-time programs, so there is definitely a buzz in the city basketball wise.”
Gibbs now moves on to lead The Phelps School, an all-boys boarding school with just over 100 students. The basketball program at the school has been very successful over the years at producing next-level talent, and Gibbs will look to keep the success rolling in his time in Malvern.
“I really wanted to run my own program,” Gibbs added. “That is kind of what I thrive on. The opportunity to run a program and the opportunity to be a leader. That is what I was as a player, as a point guard, and that is really what I am going to implement as a head coach. Being a service to all of these guys, you know, that’s what I think coaching is. Giving back to the next generation and being able to help them get scholarships to college and to not only help them on the court but off the court as well. Everything I have learned through the game of basketball I am going to continue to give back and to give my knowledge to these guys day in and day out.”