PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania’s John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men’s Basketball, Jerome Allen, has announced the addition of Nat Graham to his staff as an assistant coach. Graham replaces Scott Pera, who recently left the program to become the top assistant coach at Rice University.
"I am excited to have Nat on the staff," said Allen. "He and I go back to our playing days here at Penn, and I know how much it means to him to be coaching here. Nat has great experience recruiting in the Ivy League, and he is also known for his in-game preparation. I think he is a great addition to our staff, and I can't wait to get to work with him."
“I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to return to my alma mater to coach in a program with such a rich history,” said Graham. “I am honored to be able to work for Jerome, and believe strongly in his vision. It is an honor to be able to call Penn and The Palestra home.”
Graham returns to his alma mater after spending the last four seasons at Boston College under Steve Donahue, three of those as associate head coach. He joined the Eagles for the 2010-11 season after serving the previous five seasons as an assistant coach under Donahue at Cornell.
Graham helped guide the Big Red to 111 victories and three Ivy League titles in his five years. In 2009-10, Cornell finished with a 29-5 mark and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Big Red established school records for wins, points (2,545), three-pointers (326), and blocked shots (127). The season marked the program’s third straight 20-win campaign.
In 2008-09, Cornell won all 13 home games, a school record, while in 2007-08 the Big Red won a school-best 16 consecutive contests.
Prior to joining Donahue at Cornell, Graham spent one season (1999-2000) as an assistant coach at the University of Western Ontario and one year (2004-05) as an assistant coach at the University of Toronto.
Graham was a two-year letterman (1993-95) at the University of Pennsylvania, and was a member of two undefeated Ivy League championship teams along with Coach Allen and fellow assistant coach Ira Bowman. Penn went a combined 47-9 overall during those two seasons, and earned an NCAA Tournament win over Nebraska in 1994.
Graham transferred to the University of Western Ontario following the 1994-95 season, and was a two-time Ontario University Athletics West first-team selection with the Mustangs. A two-year team captain, he also earned All-Canadian accolades in 1998-99. After graduation, Graham played two years of professional ball in Ireland and Denmark.
Graham graduated from Penn in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He earned his master’s degree in multicultural education from Eastern University in 2009.
Graham graduated from Coral Gables High School in Miami, Fla.
Graham and his wife, Kelly, have one daughter, Noelle, and two sons, Silas and Dashiell.