DENTON, Texas – North Texas head basketball coach Tony Benford has completed his coaching staff with the addition of former Nebraska assistant and 12-year coaching veteran David Anwar.
Anwar spent the last six seasons with the Cornhuskers, including five years as an assistant coach and one season as the director of basketball operations in 2010-11. The move reunites Benford and Anwar, who spent the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons together as assistant coaches under Doc Sadler.
“Every coach that we have brought on board here at North Texas is a person that I fully trust, and has great loyalty,” Benford said. “David Anwar fits that bill perfectly. He has always shared great relationships with his players, has done a great job on the floor and has recruited Texas very well. We are very fortunate to have coach Anwar joining us.”
Anwar worked with the wings and post players for most of his time at Nebraska, helping the Huskers to the postseason in three of the last five seasons. He played a major role in NU ranking among the top 25 nationally in scoring defense in both 2007-08 and 2008-09.
The Huskers also showed the ability to score from long distance in 2009-10, as Eshaunte Jones (40-of-92, 43.5 percent), Ryan Anderson (54-of-126, 42.9 percent) and Brandon Ubel (11-of-21, 53.4 percent) helped Nebraska set a school record and rank 15th nationally in 3-point percentage (39.7 percent).
“I’m very excited to be working with coach Benford again,” Anwar said. “He’s one of the nation’s top up-and-coming coaches, and a first-rate recruiter and coach. Most importantly, I look forward to working with a close friend.”
Working primarily with the Nebraska guards in his first year, Anwar's guidance helped the Huskers power to the second-highest 3-point total in school history with 244 treys in 2006-07.
Off the court, Anwar was instrumental in recruiting, helping Nebraska reel in arguably its top-rated class in the Big 12 era. The Huskers' eight-man recruiting class for 2007 was ranked among the top 25 in the nation by at least three major scouting services, including ESPN.com's Bob Gibbons (21st), CSTV.com's Van Coleman (12th) and HoopScoopOnline.com's Clark Francis (5th).
Prior to Nebraska, Anwar served two seasons under Sadler at UTEP as the Miners' director of operations. He was responsible for the program's budget, scheduling and practice management. Anwar also oversaw the administrative staff and assisted with special projects, camps and on-campus recruiting while helping Sadler and the Miners reach the 2005 NCAA Tournament and 2006 NIT.
Before joining the UTEP program, Anwar served as an assistant coach at Arkansas-Fort Smith for four seasons, including the final three under Sadler. Anwar had on-court and practice responsibilities and also served as the recruiting coordinator. Arkansas-Fort Smith earned a 101-29 record with Anwar on the bench, including a pair of top-seven national finishes in 2001 (fifth) and 2002 (seventh). The team won the Bi-State Conference East league title each of his three seasons under Sadler and produced numerous all-conference players on the court and in the classroom.
Anwar has helped several programs earn a successful record of academic success, including helping more than 20 players move on to four-year schools from Arkansas-Fort Smith.
Earlier in his career, Anwar helped more than 40 high school and prep players earn a spot on Division I or II rosters while serving as a coach in his native Philadelphia and in Massachusetts.
A native of Philadelphia, Anwar earned a bachelor's degree in special education and sociology from Fitchburg State in 1998 and added a master's degree in sports management/sports leadership from Virginia Commonwealth in 2004.