Ryan Chiao

Yale men’s basketball assistant coach Tobe Carberry is leaving the Bulldogs to accept a position at Columbia, Yale head coach James Jones told the News. 

Carberry, who arrived at Yale before the 2017–18 season, will join the Lions’ men’s basketball program as a full-time assistant, Jones said. In Carberry’s three seasons at Yale, the Bulldogs captured two Ivy League championships, going 30–12 against their Ancient Eight competition. Carberry did not comment for this story.

“He added a tremendous amount to our program and our student-athletes, giving another view point,” Jones said of Carberry’s contributions to the Elis. “He played professionally in the G-League, he played professionally overseas, so for instance, he’s helped out guys a lot with getting contracts and agents after they graduate … he’s done a great job with us and really sad to see him go, but it’s the right thing for him.”

At Yale, Carberry served as the Bulldogs’ third assistant, a position that Jones said is technically volunteer for every team in the Ivy League. Carberry was instead paid through the program’s summer camp, Jones added, and worked primarily with perimeter players, especially taking charge of improving the Bulldogs’ ball handling.

In Carberry’s three seasons at Yale, the Bulldogs captured two Ivy League championships, going 30–12 against their Ancient Eight competition. (Photo: William McCormack)

Carberry’s addition fills one of two spots that opened up on Columbia head coach Jim Engles’ staff this spring. Former Columbia assistant Jared Czech joined the Air Force coaching staff, while associate head coach Marlon Sears earned the head coaching job at Amherst College last month.

Columbia’s Associate Director for Athletic Communications Mike Kowalsky said Engles could not comment until an official announcement has been made.

The outgoing Yale assistant grew up in the New Haven area and attended Hillhouse High School before moving on to a successful career at the University of Vermont. He is the founder and director of Haven4Hoops, a basketball clinic for young players between the ages of 8 and 12.

As a college senior during the 1999–2000 season, Carberry captained the Catamounts and visited the John J. Lee Amphitheater to play Yale in a November nonconference matchup. The Bulldogs won 72–69, giving Jones his very first of more than 300 wins as the Yale head coach and an early glimpse at his future assistant. Carberry, meanwhile, rounded out his collegiate career with 1,235 total points, a mark that ranks 21st in the program record books, and UVM’s honor for Most Valuable Player, the John C. Evans Award.

Carberry attended Hillhouse High School before moving on to a successful career at the University of Vermont. (Photo: Ryan Chiao)

After graduating, Carberry played five years of professional basketball in the NBA Development League — now G-League — and Europe. Jones said Carberry’s experience in Europe helped Blake Reynolds ’19 secure a contract in Bulgaria this past season, where Reynolds averaged just over 17 points a game for the Chernomorets Burgas.

Jones has never previously lost an assistant coach to an Ivy League opponent, but he and the Bulldogs have occasionally competed against former colleagues. In 2014, Yale played Kent State and its head coach Rob Senderoff, who was an assistant for Yale during Jones’ first two seasons at the helm. “Once the game starts, you don’t even think about it,” Jones said.

“We’re gonna root for Columbia every game but two next year,” Yale assistant Justin Simon ’04 said, adding that the program will miss Carberry.

Carberry’s departure leaves Jones with two vacancies to fill heading into the 2020–21 school year. Former Director of Basketball Operations Rey Crossman, who is pursuing a basketball-related opportunity outside of college athletics, announced his departure from the Bulldogs in June.

Carberry joins coaches in a huddle during Ivy Madness in 2019. (Photo: William McCormack)

A University-wide hiring freeze through June 2021 complicates the search process for both positions.

“Losing two guys is never easy,” Jones said last month. “The only jobs that are going to be hired are essential jobs, and if these jobs aren’t perceived essential, you can’t hire anybody for pay but you may be able to hire people for volunteers … It’s all well and good until you have to eat. It’s hard to find that.”

As an assistant coach before his stint at Yale, Carberry worked with the men’s basketball programs at LIU Brooklyn, Central Connecticut, the University of New Haven and Southern Connecticut State.

William McCormack | william.mccormack@yale.edu