Freshman forward is first recruit from powerful Simeon since Bobby Simmons
The 6-foot, 9-inch freshman is ready to play solid defense, hit the boards and block shots
Men's basketball returnees enthusiastic about strenuous workouts emphasizing defense
Assistant coach helped to hold men's basketball team together while reassuring incoming recruits
DePaul community, Blue Demon fans come together to greet Leitao and reconnect with Bruno
DePaul assistant coach Billy Garrett joined the program in May 2009 and holds over a decade of experience at the collegiate, high school and AAU levels of basketball. Garrett returned to Chicago to join Jerry Wainwright's staff and remained on the staff under Oliver Purnell and Dave Leitao.
In his six seasons in Lincoln Park, Garrett has re-established Chicago recruiting roots for the Blue Demons with nine players on the 2014-15 roster from the Chicagoland area. On the floor, Garrett assisted in the daily development of the roster including BIG EAST Rookies of the Year Cleveland Melvin and Billy Garrett Jr. and BIG EAST All-Rookie Team honoree Tommy Hamilton IV and Brandon Young.
The 2011-12 campaign saw continued improvement as the Blue Demons trended upward in victories, points per game and steals per game. DePaul's 74.1 scoring average was its highest mark since the 1994-95 season while the 7.9 steals per game were the most since the 2002-03 campaign. DePaul put together the longest winning streak in nearly a decade in 2012-13 and increased its steal total to 8.3 per game. The 2013-14 season saw Billy Garrett Jr. earn the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year award as the Blue Demons finish the season strong by knocking off Georgetown in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament.
Before moving to DePaul's Lincoln Park campus in 2009, Garrett was the associate head coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for two seasons. Prior to joining the Islanders in May 2007, he was an assistant at Iowa (2006-07), Seton Hall (2001-06) and Siena (2000-01).
Following his first collegiate stop with a Metro Atlantic Metro Conference Championship at Siena, Garrett spent five seasons at BIG EAST member Seton Hall. He made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament and one appearance in the NIT with the Pirates.
Garrett joined the Iowa staff during the 2006-07 campaign and was briefly on the staff at New Mexico before accepting the associate head coach position at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
He started his coaching career in Chicago as head basketball coach at Providence St. Mel High School from 1994-00. Garrett was also athletic director and head track and field coach while leading the basketball program to a 130-50 record in his six seasons. He was a four-time District Coach of the Year by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and led Providence St. Mel to four regional titles.
At Providence St. Mel, he tutored former DePaul player LeVar Seals and also coached Steven Hunter while directing the Illinois Fire AAU program. Garrett coached in the Illinois Fire program from 1994-00 and also served as a coach at the ABCD Camp from 1996-00 and was a coach at the adidas International Basketball Camp in Beijing, China in 2004.
The native of Indianapolis, Ind., earned his degree from the University of Indianapolis in 1991 after playing four seasons of football at Illinois State. Garrett and his wife, Annissa, have one son, Billy. Billy was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in 2014 and is among the top players in the conference entering his sophomore season. He arrived at DePaul after a standout career at Morgan Park High School. He led the Mustangs to a state title as a senior and enters DePaul as a consensus top 100 player.
Garrett's father, Bill Garrett, is recognized as the first African-American basketball player in the Big Ten Conference. He played at Indiana for three seasons and finished his collegiate career in 1951 as the program's all-time leading scorer. The All-American at Indiana was drafted by the Boston Celtics and he also played with the Harlem Globetrotters before becoming a high school coach in Indiana.