New assistant coach Tavaras Hardy has a big heart, a big catalog of knowledge and a big passion for the game
Scenes from Tech's practice and visit to Shanghai Disney on Wednesday, November 8, 2017
The Yellow Jackets drove to the Dragon Sports Centre to conduct their first full practice in China, Sunday afternoon.
Monday saw the Yellow Jackets visit the campus of Alibaba, the largest e-commerce company in China.
Tavaras Hardy, a Division I assistant coach for 10 years at Georgetown and Northwestern, joined the Georgia Tech staff as an assistant coach on May 6, 2016.
Hardy, 38, a former All-Big Ten player and assistant coach at Northwestern, came to Atlanta following a three-year stint on the staff of John Thompson III at Georgetown, where the Hoyas won 55 games over three seasons and went to the NCAA Tournament third round in 2015.
In his first year at Tech, he has helped spearhead Tech's first recruiting class with the signing of point guard Jose Alvarado and wing Curtis Haywood II.
"Tavaras is a tremendous addition to our staff," said Pastner. "He has played and worked at two tremendous institutions in Georgetown and Northwestern, and is very good with player development and talent evaluation. He has built excellent relationships in recruiting and coaching. He worked in wealth management while coaching early in his career, which provides an interesting dimension to his background."
In his time at Georgetown, Hardy worked primarily with the wings and post players. He helped freshman Jessie Govan earn Big East Conference all-freshman honors in 2015-16. Isaac Copeland and L.J. Peak achieved Big East Conference all-freshman honors in 2014-2015 with his assistance. Hardy also helped bring in a pair of recruiting classes that were ranked among the top-20 nationally, including the 2015 class that was ranked as high as No. 4 in the country. He led the recruitment for Govan from New York City, rated the 40th best prospect nationally in the class of 2015. In 2014, he landed Paul White out of Chicago, who was rated as the 34th best prospect in the country.
"I'm honored and excited to join Josh Pastner's staff at Georgia Tech," said Hardy. "Coach Pastner's positive personality is contagious. He has the energy, experience and vision to lead this program to the highest level of success in college basketball. It is incredible when you combine that with the fact that Georgia Tech is an institution of academic excellence and athletic tradition, competing for ACC basketball championships, all while being in the great city of Atlanta. Through Coach Pastner's leadership, we will work tirelessly to show talented young men why Georgia Tech is the best place to fully develop both on and off the basketball court."
Hardy joined the Georgetown staff after seven seasons on the staff at Northwestern, where he helped lead the Wildcats to four consecutive postseason appearances (2009-12) and to consecutive school record 20-win seasons in 2009-10 and again in 2010-11. He served as the team's associate head coach the last two years.
Recognized as an outstanding recruiter, Hardy helped mentor John Shurna during his record-breaking career as he became a first-team All-Big Ten selection, the conference's leading scorer and Northwestern career leader in scoring. In addition, Drew Crawford was named the 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the league's media members. He also recruited JerShon Cobb, 2010 Metro-Atlanta Player of the Year and Georgia class AAA state champion from Columbia High School in Decatur, Ga.
Prior to NU, Hardy spent three years as a head coach for the Illinois Defenders boys' basketball program. Among their many accomplishments, his under-16 team captured the championship of the 2005 Las Vegas Main Event tournament with a perfect 7-0 record. During that same time period, Hardy also worked in wealth management at JPMorgan Chase and Co.
A native of Joliet, Ill., Hardy was a four-year letterwinner and three-time most valuable player at Northwestern from 1998-2002. He earned All-Big Ten honors twice, ranks second in games played and is among the top 20 in seven major categories at the school. Hardy graduated from Northwestern in 2002, earning his bachelor of arts degree in political science.
Hardy and his wife Billée are the proud parents of Mariah (9), Jasmine (5), TJ (2) and newborn Noah.