Former standout player, Sean Hoehn, was announced as an assistant coach for the Lehigh men's basketball team on Sept. 13. Hoehn played at Sacred Heart University from 2015-2019 and was most recently the team's director of basketball operations. (Courtesy of Sean Hoehn)

‘Rising star’ assistant joins Lehigh men’s basketball


This season, the Lehigh men’s basketball team has hired a new assistant coach with professional playing experience.

Sean Hoehn, the new hire, said the phone call he received from Lehigh men’s basketball coach Brett Reed offering him the position is one of the top moments of his young career. 

“I told coach Reed that Lehigh was the place I had circled early on,” Hoehn said. “It was a place where I thought I could really grow.”

Reed announced the hiring on Sept. 13.

Hoehn is replacing Quinn McDowell, who took a coaching position at Longwood University after three years with the Mountain Hawks. 

Associate coach Harry Morra said coach Reed selected Hoehn because of his playing experience, his coaching experience and the recommendations from those who have worked with him. 

“Everybody thinks he’s a rising star in this profession and he is an incredible person,” Morra said. “He’s a great role model for players, and he’s very smart. There are a lot of incredible qualities about him that align with Lehigh’s model of student athlete development.”

Hoehn’s most recent position was director of basketball operations at Sacred Heart University, where he was in charge of behind-the-scenes tasks including arranging travel, team meals and gear, as well as giving advice to players.

Hoehn was a four-year starter and two-year team captain at Sacred Heart from 2015 to 2019. He scored 1,366 points — good for fourth in Sacred Heart’s Division I history, is fifth all-time in the team’s history with 185 made three-pointers made and was named first-team All Northeast Conference in his senior year. 

“I was not this sought-out athlete, not the most sought-out basketball player, but kind of carved my way into a good player through the four years,” Hoehn said. 

After graduating from Sacred Heart, Hoehn spent a year on the coaching staff at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Drew’s former men’s basketball head coach, Darryl Keckler, is married to Lehigh women’s volleyball coach Alexa Keckler. It was during his time at Drew that Hoehn was introduced to members of Lehigh’s basketball coaching staff, he said. 

Hoehn said he learned the most in his career playing internationally during the height of COVID-19 in Kosovo, where he averaged 20.2 points per game for the professional team KB Bashkimi.

While playing with no fans and having to acclimate to a completely new culture, Hoehn said he matured a lot, both as a player and as a person.

“I think a lot of people think the glitz and glamor of professional life is easy, but it’s a grind,” Hoehn said. “It teaches you and it humbles you quickly, which is always good.”

Morra said when a position opens on staff, hundreds of prospective coaches from around the country submit applications, and that number is then narrowed down to three. Those three candidates come to campus for an in-person interview, and Reed makes the final decision on who to hire. 

“If you do the math, there’s 350 Division I basketball schools in the country,” Morra said. “There’s only three assistant coaching jobs at each school in the country, so you’re talking about only a thousand people in the country that have our job. It’s an incredibly desirable job.”

Morra said Hoehn’s ability to form relationships with the rest of the coaching staff and the players was another major factor in him being selected. 

Senior guard Jake Betlow said he has known Hoehn for many years. The two grew up in neighboring towns in New Jersey and would train together at a local gym. 

Betlow said he didn’t know Hoehn had applied to the job at Lehigh, but when he found out, he texted him right away. 

“I was really excited, having a prior relationship with him,” Betlow said. “He’s a great guy and a hell of a player.”

Senior guard Reed Fenton said when he heard about the hire, he was excited about Hoehn’s young age.

Fenton said having Hoehn, who’s played at such a high level, will bring an extra competitive element to practices and help with player development. 

“He will be able to really relate to us (because) he just recently got done playing,” Fenton said. “That’s going be a big plus for us moving forward.”

Hoehn said taking this position at Lehigh was something he could not turn down. He said it was an opportunity that few coaches get early on in their career. 

Since coming to campus, Hoehn has been a part of team workouts, helping both players and coaching staff. 

“Here I can advance my knowledge of basketball and a lot of little things,” Hoehn said. “It was a great opportunity that I had that I was champing at the bit about.”

He said he is excited to be working with a talented team with a bright future.

The men’s basketball team will begin preparing for the season with team practices starting later this month.

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