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Chattanooga hires Wisconsin assistant Lamont Paris as head coach

Greg Gard will have to find a new assistant with a strong recruiting background.

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NCAA Basketball: Prairie View A&M at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE, Monday 10:44 a.m. CST: Wisconsin has confirmed Paris’s departure to Chattanooga.

“I’m excited for this new chapter of my career, but I am so thankful and grateful for the opportunity I had at the University of Wisconsin,” Paris said in a release from UW. “The city of Madison, the people, the players and staff of the Badgers’ program and the University are all very special to me and will be a place that I will always think of as home.

“I would like to specifically thank Barry Alvarez, Bo Ryan and Greg Gard for the opportunities and guidance they gave me. I am also indebted to all of the players and coaches I have had the privilege to work with throughout my career.”

“We are all very proud and excited for Lamont as he begins this new opportunity,” UW head coach Greg Gard said. “I have no doubt he’ll make a terrific head coach and this is a tremendous hire for Chattanooga. On a personal level, it’s bittersweet to see one of your best friends move away, but I’m so happy for him and so proud of him. He’s more than paid his dues and climbed the professional ladder the right way.

“I will always be grateful to Lamont for everything he did in seven years for this program, particularly over the past two seasons helping me in my transition to head coach. I’m looking forward to following his career closely and we’ll be sure to stay in close contact. The Mocs are undoubtedly in good hands.”

The Wisconsin Badgers will reportedly be searching for a new assistant coach.

Chattanooga will hire UW associate head coach Lamont Paris as its new men’s basketball head coach, according to multiple reports. contributor and Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook editor Chris Dortch first reported the news, with’s Evan Daniels also confirming via multiple sources shortly thereafter on Sunday afternoon.

Daniels reported it was a six-year deal.

Paris was promoted to associate head coach in April 2016 and served as a Wisconsin assistant since September 2010.

As’s Jon McNamara noted, the seven-year UW coach has strong recruiting ties to Ohio. Talaya Davis, the mother of former Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes, thanked Paris among many others in a heartfelt letter written last week on Twitter.

Before his time at Wisconsin, Paris worked for six seasons as an assistant at Akron. He started his coaching career at his alma mater, Wooster, from 1997-98.

Paris will take over for Matt McCall, who left Chattanooga to become head coach at UMass. As the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jim Polzin and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jeff Potrykus, he was a finalist for the position back in 2005 before McCall was hired.