A source close to the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball program confirmed Saturday morning an earlier rumor that Eagles’ assistant Craig Ehlo has accepted a coaching job with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to the source, the Cavaliers will formally announce the addition of Ehlo to head coach Byron Scott’s staff, where he will serve as a main assistant, on Monday.
First-year EWU head coach Jim Hayford, when contacted prior to his team’s Saturday night nonconference road game against Ehlo’s alma mater, Washington State, would not publicly confirm nor deny the report.
“All I’m thinking about right now is how best to play Washington State,” said, Hayford, who gave Ehlo, a veteran of 14 NBA seasons – seven of which were spent in Cleveland, his first college coaching job last March after he, himself, was hired away from Whitworth University by Eastern. “I know he’ll be beside me on the bench in Pullman tonight, which is great.
Craig Ehlo is in the Washington University Hall of Fame, and he is the pride of Lubbock, Texas. He played 14 seasons in the NBA after making his debut with the Houston Rockets in 1983, and was most notably a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers for seven seasons.
Ehlo scored 5,130 points, dropped 1,803 dimes, and collected 2,267 rebounds in those seven seasons with the Cavs from 1986-93. He also averaged double figures in points in four of those seasons, topping out at 14 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds per night while playing in 81 games during the 1989-90 regular season.
For his career he averaged 9 points, 3 assists and 4 rebounds in 873 NBA games, 321 of which he started. There was also this one time the greatest player who ever lived hit a jumper over him to win a playoff game too.
It’s a play Ehlo will not be able to escape for the rest of his life.
“Everybody has a great signature moment,” says Ehlo. “My signature moment came on a bad side, but I still consider it a great signature moment.”
“I was in a dead run, so I flew right by him with my hand in his face,” Ehlo said. “People always say that I played good defense because I had a hand in his face. He was able to hang in the air for a longer period of time than I was, and let me fly by.
Ehlo flew. Jordan soared.
And as Ehlo says, “The rest is history.”
Time to make some new history here on the sidelines, Eggs. Don’t think we all forgot that you were also the guy who made that shot to put Cleveland up 100-99 in the first place that day too. Nor did we seem to forget that Michael Jordan beat everybody he played to the tune of six NBA titles; he didn’t just beat you.
So assuming this report is true, welcome back Mr. Ehlo. We’re glad to have you.