Aaron Fuss was announced as the third member of Lamont Paris’ inaugural staff on May 25, 2017 as an assistant coach. He brings a wealth of collegiate experience to the Mocs bench.
Fuss (pronounced Foos) spent the last nine seasons with the Ohio Bobcats. He started as the director of basketball operations (2008-09) before being elevated to assistant coach prior to the 2013 season. It was a stretch of unprecedented success in Athens.
During his tenure, the Bobcats reached the postseason six times with two NCAA Tournament appearances going 3-2 in those dance incursions. The 2010 team toppled Georgetown before falling to Tennessee during its Elite 8 run.
They made it back to the tournament in 2012 beating Michigan and South Florida prior to an overtime loss to North Carolina in the Sweet 16. He’s reunited on the Mocs staff with a key player from that run, fellow assistant Walter Offutt who earned All-East Regional Tournament team honors for his play.
The Bobcats won 20 or more games five times including a school-record 29 in 2012. They captured two MAC crowns along the way in a league that saw just five teams win the title over that stretch: Akron (3), Ohio (2), Buffalo (2), Kent State (1) and Western Michigan (1). Ohio won 60.5 percent (167-109) of its games since Fuss’ arrival in 2008.
It was an impressive run. Fuss’ contributions came under three different head coaches – John Groce (2009-12), Jim Christian (2013-14) and Saul Phillips (2015-17) – proving to be an invaluable member of the program to be kept on after not one, but two coaching changes.
He began his career at Ohio State as a student manager. Upon graduation in 2005, Thad Matta elevated Fuss to graduate manager. The Buckeyes tallied a 61-10 mark in his two seasons in that role winning the Big Ten both campaigns en route the 2007 NCAA National Championship game losing to Florida.
His role included coordinating film exchange, overseeing student managers, helping arrange team travel and managing clinics, special events and summer camps. He assisted the Buckeyes run to the title game writing advanced scouts on each opponent.
Fuss brings a young family along with him. He and his wife Jill have two children, Emma and Theodore. Both his undergraduate (Agriculture Education/Agri-Business, ’05) and graduate (Sport Management, ’07) degrees came at OSU.
Tanner Bronson joined the men’s basketball program on April 17, 2017 as an assistant coach. He and Walter Offutt were the first two hires of the Lamont Paris era.
Bronson comes to Chattanooga from UNLV where he served as program assistant for the Rebels’ first-year head coach Marvin Menzies. That followed an impressive run in his first full-time work at the collegiate.
Tanner joined Rick Majerus’ St. Louis staff in 2011-12 as a graduate manager. He was quickly elevated to assistant coach a year later. His five-year run with the program coincided with the best run in the history of the Billikens program.
SLU won 103 games in those five season with two regular season and one tournament titles in the Atlantic 10. The Billikens made three NCAA tournament appearances reaching the round of 32 all three times. They were ranked in the Top 25 during three seasons with Bronson on the bench.
Prior to coaching in the shadow of the Gateway Arch, Bronson got his coaching start in the NBA D-League. He was an assistant coach with the Sioux Falls Skyforce for two-plus years beginning with the 2009 season.
Bronson was a student manager as a freshman at Wisconsin (2003-04). He claimed a walk-on spot in 2004-05 and later earned a scholarship playing four years for Hall of Fame Head Coach Bo Ryan. He went to the NCAA Tournament four times as a player reaching the Sweet 16 in 2008 and the Elite 8 in 2005. His Badger squads twice eclipsed the school record for wins with 30 in 2007 and 31 in 2008.
He graduated his undergraduate degree in 2008 majoring in Consumer Science with a concentration in personal finance. Bronson is married to the former Jennifer Rundquist. The couple is expecting twins.
Walter Offutt joined the men’s basketball program on April 17, 2017 as an assistant coach. He and Tanner Bronson were the first two hires of the Lamont Paris era.
Walter most recently served as the director of basketball operations at Ball State. He spent one season in Muncie after two years on John Groce’s Illinois staff as graduate manager.
Offutt helped lead Ohio on a magical run as a junior transfer from Ohio State in 2011-12. The Bobcats won a school-record 29 games en route to the NCAA Sweet 16 beating Michigan and South Florida before falling in overtime to North Carolina.
He scored 26 points in the loss to the Tar Heels earning All-Midwest Regional Team honors. He averaged 12.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest. As a senior, the Bobcats shared the MAC regular season title and played in the NIT.
His squads were 53-18 (.747) during his OU career. Offutt was a third team All-MAC selection in 2013 as well as Academic All-MAC. He began his career at Ohio State seeing action in 25 games for the Buckeyes over two seasons.
He starred at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis with more than 800 points and 300 rebounds in three years before missing his senior year due to injury. He was a three-time All-Marion County and all-conference pick.
Offutt completed two degrees at Ohio. He earned a Bachelor’s in Business and Human Relations in 2012 and Master’s in Coaching Education in 2013. He added a Master’s in Educational Policy Studies in 2016 from Illinois.