ORONO, Maine – University of Maine men's basketball head coach Bob Walsh announced two new hires to his coaching staff on Thursday, as Antone Gray and Rob Toste join the Black Bears for the upcoming season. Gray will serve as an assistant coach while Toste will work as the director of basketball operations and recruiting coordinator.
Most recently Gray worked as the head varsity basketball coach at Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex in Providence, R.I. In his only season at the helm he guided his squad to a 19-8 overall record including an Interscholastic League Division III state championship.
"Antone has an ability to relate to people and assess situations, which made him a great leader as a player, and has helped him develop into a terrific young coach," Walsh said. "He is a natural, whether he's in the gym, working with players or evaluating talent and character. Antone knows our culture inside and out and will be a big part of what we are going to build with Black Bear basketball."
Gray's squad led one of the most prolific offenses in the state as his team led Rhode Island in points per game, averaging 89.7, and overall points with 1,418. Likewise Gray helped produce the first All-State athlete in any sport at Juanita Sanchez. The incoming assistant also helped produce the first two 1,000 point scorers in the school's history.
Gray also has a unique tie to Walsh as he spent four years as a player for the new Maine leader, playing from 2007-11 at Rhode Island College. As a member of the Anchormen, Gray's name is easily found in the record book as he is third in the program in assists (420) and he is one of 30 other members in the Rhode Island College "1,000 point club" as he tallied 1,041. Gray completed his Bachelor's degree in sociology with a minor in a communication from Rhode Island College.
Toste joins the staff after most recently serving as graduate assistant for Columbia's men's basketball program. He spent one season with the Lions helping to run the squad's film exchange program along with other aspects of the operational duties.
"Rob has been involved with winning programs and his relentless work ethic will fit in great with what we are going to build at Maine." Walsh said. "Rob is extremely organized and disciplined and that will help with the efficiency of our day-to-day operations. He has a great feel for the game and a willingness to look at things in a different way, and that will challenge us and make us better."
Toste is a former player for the Hamilton College varsity men's basketball squad playing from 2004-08 and serving as team captain from 2007-08. Toste finished his career with a record of 74-32.
The new Director of Basketball Operations also served as the boy's varsity assistant coach at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School in New York in 2012-13 and was a co-director and counselor at a free basketball camp in Racha, Republic of Georgia in June 2006.
Toste graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton college in 2008 and is working towards his Master of Arts degree at Columbia.
The two newcomers join the staff already in place with assistant coaches Matt O'Brien and Zak Boisvert. That assistant coach duo was announced May 14, 2014 while Walsh was hired as the 21st Maine men's basketball head coach on May 7, 2014.