Spurs Announce Coaching Staff Additions and Basketball Operations Staff Promotions
SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 20, 2019) – The San Antonio Spurs today announced that Mitch Johnson has been promoted to an assistant coach while Darius Songalia has been elevated to a player development assistant on Gregg Popovich’s staff.
At the same time the Spurs have announced the following promotions and additions to the basketball operations staff: Brandon James – vice president of basketball administration and deputy general counsel, Dave Telep – director of player personnel, Adam Glessner – senior director of basketball intelligence, Phil Cullen – director of basketball operations and innovation, Niraj Mulji – director of basketball strategy, Nick Repole – director of research and development, Landry Fields – Austin Spurs general manager, Tyler Self – Austin Spurs assistant general manager and Keon Weise – performance informatic scout.
Johnson has spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach for the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s G League affiliate, where he helped guide the team to the 2018 G League Championship. Prior to joining Austin, Johnson spent one season as an assistant at the University of Portland in 2016. Before his stint with Portland he coached in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League and served as a basketball coaching intern at Seattle University in 2011. Johnson played collegiately at Stanford University and spent three seasons playing in the G League and overseas in Europe.
Songalia enters his second season with the Silver and Black after spending last year as a quality assurance assistant in the video department. Before coming to the Spurs, he played eight seasons in the NBA, averaging 6.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in 495 career games. Songalia also played professionally in Russia, Turkey, Spain, Ukraine and Lithuania. A native of Russia, Songalia made the move to the United States while in high school and played collegiately at Wake Forest University.
James enters his eighth season in the Spurs front office as in-house counsel for basketball operations responsible for strategy and innovation, legal affairs and CBA, salary cap and other administrative matters. He also advises Spurs Sports & Entertainment franchises including SAFC and the Austin Spurs. Before joining the Silver and Black he spent four years with IMG Sports, Entertainment and Media serving several positions in talent marketing and ultimately the coaches division representing professional and collegiate coaches. James earned his JD and MBA simultaneously from the University of Georgia.
Telep is now in his seventh season with San Antonio. He was promoted to director of scouting in August 2016 after spending the past three seasons as the team’s scouting coordinator. Prior to joining the Spurs he served as ESPN.com’s senior national recruiting analyst. He also spent time as a sideline reporter for ESPNU and a studio analyst for Recruiting Nation. Telep has also served on the USA Developmental National Committee for the USA National Team.
Glessner is set to begin his second season with the Silver and Black. Prior to joining the Spurs he spent four seasons with the Detroit Pistons as the team’s director of player personnel after being promoted from pro scout in 2016. Glessner worked with the Charlotte Hornets as a coaching associate for one season after six years with the Orlando Magic. After graduating from the University of Florida, Glessner joined the Magic as an assistant video coordinator in 2007 and was later elevated to video coordinator and analyst.
Cullen enters his fourth season with the Spurs after spending the last three years as the team’s director of basketball strategy. He joined the Silver and Black after spending four seasons at the University of Utah where he served as the team’s director of basketball operations during the 2015-16 season. Prior to that, Cullen spent three seasons as the Utes director of player development and camps, following a three-year stint as an assistant coach at Grand Canyon University. Cullen received his bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Utah in 2006 and earned his master’s in leadership from GCU in 2012.
Mulji enters his sixth season with the Spurs. He’s spent the past three seasons as basketball operations manager after joining the Silver and Black in 2014 as a basketball operations quality assurance assistant. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, he was the head student manager with the Mustang’s basketball team from 2012-14.
Repole is set to begin his fourth season in San Antonio after previously serving as director of basketball information systems. Prior to joining the Spurs he spent two seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, where he served as the basketball operations systems developer and quantitative analyst. Before making the move to Charlotte, the University of Michigan graduate was an associate product development specialist for Eagle Investment Systems.
Fields makes the move to Austin after spending the past three seasons serving as a college scout. He originally joined the Spurs in 2016 after a five-year NBA playing career. An All-Rookie First Team Selection in 2011, Fields averaged 6.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 23.6 minutes in 255 career games with the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors. Fields played four seasons at Stanford University where he earned his degree in communications.
Self enters his third season in San Antonio after spending the last two seasons as a quality assurance assistant in the basketball operations department. He came to the Spurs after graduating from the University of Kansas, where he played on the Jayhawk’s basketball team from 2012-17 while earning his degree in sports management.
Weise joins the Spurs after spending 16 seasons with the Orlando Magic in various different roles, most recently head athletic trainer from 2010-18. He began his career with the Magic as an athletic training intern in 2002 and served as the team’s performance enhancement specialist/assistant athletic trainer for seven seasons. Before joining the Magic, Weise attended graduate school at Temple University, where he received a master’s degree in sports medicine/athletic training. As an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, Weise earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, while working as a student athletic trainer.
2019-20 San Antonio Spurs Basketball Operations Staff Additions and Promotions:
Mitch Johnson – Assistant Coach
Darius Songalia – Player Development Assistant
Brandon James – Vice President of Basketball Administration and Deputy General Counsel
Dave Telep – Director of Player Personnel
Adam Glessner – Senior Director of Basketball Intelligence
Phil Cullen – Director of Basketball Operations and Innovation
Niraj Mulji – Director of Basketball Strategy
Nick Repole – Director of Research and Development
Landry Fields – Austin Spurs General Manager
Tyler Self – Austin Spurs Assistant General Manager
Keon Weise – Performance Informatics Scout