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Bruce Weber rounds out Kansas State staff with former Illinois assistant Wayne McClain, promotes assistant Chris Lowery

Oct 3, 2012, 12:01 PM EDT

BruceWeber

First-year Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber has rounded out his Wildcat staff, hiring former Illinois assistant Wayne McClain as the director of student-athlete development, the school announced Wednesday.

McClain spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach with the Illini, including nine working for Weber.

“[McClain] is one of the most successful coaches in the history of Illinois basketball at both the high school and college levels,” Weber said in a statement.

“With a staff as young as ours, I wanted to add someone with significant knowledge and experience who would be a mentor to them as they grow in the profession.  He has also coached a lot of great players and will be a great resource for our players.”

McClain’s hiring was the first of two moves announced by the school Wednesday, as Weber also promoted assistant Chris Lowery to associate head coach.

Lowery, hired in April, was the first to join Weber’s staff at Kansas State. He came to the Wildcats after nine seasons as the head coach at Southern Illinois.

“We are very fortunate to have someone like Chris on staff,” Weber said.  “He has not only been a Division I head coach before, but also a very successful one.  It is very important to have someone like that on staff and essential to the players to have a veteran voice like his when I’m not around.  He has already been a huge asset to me as we build this program.”

Kansas State finished last season with an overall record of 22-11, including 10-8 in the Big 12. Head coach Frank Martin left Manhattan to take the same position at South Carolina, opening the door for Weber.

The Wildcats open their season on Nov. 9 against North Dakota.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_