August 15, 2019—Mount St. Mary's men's basketball coach Dan Engelstad has announced the additions of Matt Graves and AJ Rawlings to the men's basketball coaching staff. Graves will serve as the Director of Basketball Operations while Rawlings joins the staff as a Graduate Assistant Coach.
"We are excited to add two exceptional people and coaches to our staff," said Engelstad. "AJ comes to us from West Virginia University where he was a student manager the past three seasons. He brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to our program. Matt comes to us after working at Belmont Abbey the past six years. He is an extremely hard working and talented basketball coach. He is detailed and organized, and we are looking forward to his future at the Mount."
While at Belmont Abbey, Graves was instrumental in the program's success that included a 23-8 season in 2018-19 that concluded with a second consecutive conference tournament championship appearance. He also played a key role in the recruitment of the conference player of the year in 2019 (Dequan Abrom). During Graves' tenure as an assistant, Belmont Abbey had five all-conference players, while also achieving a 12-win improvement from the 2017 season, the largest increase of wins in the conference. Graves was responsible for recruiting, on-the-floor coaching, skill development, scouting reports, scheduling, video coordination and academic monitoring while at Belmont Abbey. He also served as the Head Coach of the men's basketball program's Developmental team. Under his tutelage, over 10 developmental players ascended to the varsity team.
Prior to Belmont Abbey, Graves was an assistant coach at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md. At McDaniel, Graves assisted the head coach with the day-to-day duties of running a college basketball team, was responsible for the recruitment of a diverse group of qualified student-athletes for successful participation at the varsity athletic level, conducted and monitored player development athletically and academically and served as game administrator at intercollegiate contests as assigned by the department.
A 2012 Belmont Abbey graduate, Graves played for four years under Stephen Miss, earning a spot on the Dean's List and Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management with a Cumulative 3.26 GPA and was Vice President of the SAAC.
After graduation, Graves was awarded the prestigious Victory Scholarship from Sport Changes Life. The Victory Scholarship Program assists deserving students from the USA in obtaining a scholarship package to study at Masters level throughout Ireland. While in Ireland, Graves graduated with a Masters of Business Studies from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, in 2013. He served as head coach for the Ulster Elks Premier League Men's Basketball team in Northern Ireland. He was the captain of the Ulster Elks National League Basketball Team and was an E-Hoops Counselor with Sport Changes Life.
Rawlings served as a student manager the past three years at West Virginia University. While at West Virginia, the Mountaineers made consecutive Sweet 16 appearances under head coach Bob Huggins. As a student manager, he assisted in day-to-day operations at both practice and games for Huggins, a three-time USA Coach of the Year and the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2015. He also filmed player development drills for coaches to review.
In high school, Rawlings played basketball at Baltimore City College, helping lead the team to a 27-0 record and City, Region and State titles his senior season. He made the Dean's list and the President's list as a student at West Virginia. He served as a personal trainer assistant for pre-draft free agents at the NBA Summer League in 2017-18, and worked with a pair of current NBA players at the NBA Will Barton Summer League Camp.