- title Assistant Coach
- phone (859) 257-1916
James “Bruiser” Flint, a former John Calipari assistant with more than 30 years of coaching experience at the head coach and assistant levels, joined the staff as an assistant coach for the 2020-21 season. In May of 2021, he was elevated to associate to the head coach.
After a season as an assistant coach, Flint will take on an increased role off the court in helping head coach John Calipari run the program. Flint, who played a key role in Kentucky’s game management and Xs and Os as an assistant in 2020-21, has taken on an increased responsibility in game planning, scouting opponents, and helping Calipari formulate the team’s approach in practices and in games.
A former member of Calipari’s staff at UMass for seven seasons, Flint served the previous three seasons at Indiana under Archie Miller. He has 20 years of experience as a Division I head coach at Drexel (2002-16) and UMass (1996-01).
With a blue-collar background and an infectious personality, Flint is well known in the college basketball fraternity for his success in both recruiting and developing players. His honest, engaging approach has been the consistent variable behind 20 successful seasons as a Division I head coach at Drexel and UMass, plus several prominent assistant coaching stops, including seven seasons at UMass under Calipari.
Flint won 331 games as a head coach during his 20 seasons at the helm at UMass and Drexel. Four times he was named Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year (2002, 2004, 2009 and 2012) and National Association of Basketball Coaches District Coach of the Year (1998, 2007, 2009 and 2012).
The Philadelphia native was a member of Calipari’s staff at UMass from 1989-90 through the 1995-96 season, helping build a national program in Amherst, Massachusetts, after 11 straight losing seasons. With Calipari and Flint on staff, the Minutemen made five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1996 Final Four run, to go along with five Atlantic 10 regular-season and five A-10 Tournament titles.
Flint played a key role in the development of Marcus Camby, who won the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy as the national player of the year in 1996. Camby was drafted No. 2 overall in the NBA Draft that spring.
After Calipari departed for the NBA, Flint took over the program for five seasons, including NCAA Tournament berths in the first two seasons. He also posted the best record of any first-year coach UMass in school history.
Following his stint in Amherst, Flint took the reins at Drexel, where he racked up more victories (245) than any other coach in school history over his 15 seasons. With stingy defenses and a culture of toughness, Flint set new standards at Drexel, leading the Dragons to 20 or more wins three times while recording at least 10 CAA wins in nine seasons.
During his tenure, Drexel featured the CAA Defensive Player of the Year on four occasions, 23 All-CAA selections, 12 members of the conference’s All-Defensive Team, six players named to the league’s All-Rookie Team and two CAA Rookies of the Year.
Flint’s Dragons had a record-breaking season in 2011-12. His squad set a school record with 29 wins and won the CAA regular-season title, going 16-2. The Dragons won a program-best 19 straight games and advanced to the CAA title game for the second time ever.
His teams were an unfriendly foe for some of the nation’s top teams. In 2010-11, Drexel stunned No. 20 Louisville, handing the Cardinals their first-ever loss in the new KFC Yum! Center. The Dragons also defeated NCAA teams Old Dominion and VCU. In 2006-07, on its way to a 23-9 overall record, Drexel won 13 road games (tied for most in Division I). The Dragons won at Syracuse, Villanova and Creighton. Flint became the first coach in Drexel history ever to beat three Philadelphia Big 5 teams in one season.
At Indiana, as an assistant, Flint was part of a staff that produced the No. 11 recruiting class nationally in 2018 and 2020 (according to ESPN’s rankings), including signing Indiana Mr. Basketball winners Romeo Langford (2018) and Trayce Jackson-Davis (2019). Langford and Jackson-Davis were named McDonald’s All-Americans and Langford was a lottery pick by the Boston Celtics.
In 2018-19, Indiana finished 20-12 and was poised to return to the NCAA Tournament before the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. The Hoosiers also finished with a winning record against nationally ranked teams with five victories, tied for seventh most in the country. The team also posted a 3.398 grade point average in the spring semester and a perfect 1.000 score on the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate for 2018-19.
Flint has enjoyed three coaching stints with with USA Basketball, serving as an assistant in 2007 for the USA U-19 National Team in Serbia, an assistant in 2005 for the USA U-21 World Championship Team that went 7-1 in Argentina and first as a court coach prior to the Global Games.
He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Coppin State (1988-89). A 1987 Saint Joseph’s graduate, Flint was a four-year letterwinner with the Hawks. He earned All-Atlantic 10 honors as a senior and led the Hawks to the 1986 A-10 championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament as a junior. He was inducted into the Saint Joseph’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.
Flint has a daughter, Jada.