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Coaching Staff

Randy Baruth
Head Coach

SVSU Head Coach Randy Baruth will be entering his sixth season at the helm of the program in the 2017-18 campaign. The Cardinals are coming off a 17-win season, which marks the first time that the program has had at least 17 wins for three straight years. C.J. Turnage was named First Team All-GLIAC for his performance for the third time in his career and Wade Gelhaus was named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team as well.

The 2015-16 season, Coach Baruth's fourth at SVSU, matched the program's record for most wins at 25 and was the team's first-ever NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearance. The Cardinals posted a 25-8 overall record and 18-4 record in the GLIAC. The team claimed the GLIAC Regular Season Championship for the first time at the NCAA Division II level. The team's back-to-back 20-plus winning seasons were the most since the 1984-85 and 85-86 seasons. Damon Bozeman and C.J. Turnage both earned All-GLIAC First Team and Garrett Hall earned Second Team. Baruth earned GLIAC Coach of the Year honors in the league for the first time as well.

In the 2014-15 season, SVSU posted a 21-9 overall record, including a 16-6 mark in the GLIAC. The 16 victories were a new program record for the team.  The Cardinals qualified for the 2015 GLIAC Tournament as the #4 seed, where they defeated Findlay for the team's first victory in the tournament and berth in the semifinals since the 1996-97 season.

Over the span of the season, SV rattled-off 13 consecutive victories, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since the 1989-90 season and the most since the program has been in D-II.  The Cards led the league in field goal percentage with a mark of 47.3%.  Under the coaching staff's guidance, Kellen Smith set a single-season record with 177 assists and was named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team as well.  Smith finished 15th nationally with 5.9 assists-per-game.  C.J. Turnage earned All-GLIAC First Team honors while Damon Bozeman and Garrett Hall garnered All-GLIAC Second Team plaudits. 

With the team's success came a surge in attendance at games as well, as the Cardinals drew more than 1,000 fans to James E. O'Neill Jr. Arena three times, including a school record 1,832 against Northwood University.

The 2013-14 season for head coach Randy Baruth saw him develop a young roster into a competitive team. With only one senior and six freshman on the roster, coach Baruth managed to put the Cardinals in position to win on a nightly basis with a strong defense. In the conference, SVSU gave up the fewest three-point baskets made (153) and held opponents to the second worst three-point field goal percentage (32.8) on the year, while tying for third best in forced turnovers per game (13.5). Coach Baruth also mentored freshman forward C.J. Turnage's breakout year and "Freshman of the Year" accolades. For the season, Turnage averaged 16.9 points per game, good for ninth in the conference, as well as a GLIAC-best 64.2% field goal percentage, which is the highest field goal percentage by an SVSU player since the 2008-09 season. With eight losses coming by an average of only five points, the future is bright for the SVSU basketball team and coach Baruth is poised to improve upon this year's success in the upcoming seasons.

In 2012-13 he helped lead the Cardinals to a near GLIAC Tournament appearance in his first season on the bench. Senior guard Chris Webb was selected to the All-GLIAC First Team and All-Defensive team, while senior Brett Beland was named to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Collegiate Academic-Athletic Team.

Throughout his 11 seasons in college basketball, Baruth has been a part of success at numerous collegiate levels. Baruth has spent time at the University of Utah as the Director of Player Development under head coach, and former NBA player and coach, Larry Krystkowiak. Before his stint with the Utes, he was the Director of Basketball Operations at Colorado State University under then head coach Tim Miles. Baruth is very familiar with NCAA Division II basketball, spending 7 years as an assistant at Northern State University and North Dakota State University.

While at Northern State University (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference), he was the top assistant to then head coach Don Meyer. Meyer is ranked 2nd all-time in victories in men’s college basketball history with 923 career wins. While at Northern State University, the Wolves had 4 NCAA Division II tournament appearances in 5 years. Two of the 4 appearances resulted in Sweet Sixteen losses to the ultimate National Champion, Winona State University. The 2007-08 team earned a No. 4 national ranking while the 2008-09 team earned a No. 10 national ranking.

During his tenure at North Dakota State University, Baruth was the recruiting coordinator for the men’s basketball program. The 2006 recruiting class went on to make the Bison’s first NCAA Division I tournament appearance in school history. Members of the 2006 class that Baruth recruited included: Wisconsin Mr. Basketball and North Dakota State University 7th all-time leading scorer, Michael Nelson; Minnesota Class 3A Player of the Year and North Dakota State University’s all-time leading scorer, Ben Woodside; Minnesota 1st Team All-State, Brett Winkleman; and North Dakota Mr. Basketball, Lucas Moorman.

A native of Alpena, South Dakota, Baruth was a 1996 South Dakota Mr. Basketball Finalist. He went on to play at Mount Marty College (1996-1997) and Dakota Wesleyan University (1997-2000) while earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Baruth earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at North Dakota State University. Randy and his wife Meghan have been married for six years.

Cameron Nichols
Assistant Coach

Cameron Nichols will be entering his second season on the bench for the Cardinals in the 2017-18 season after helping lead the team to 17 victories in the 2016-17 campaign. Saginaw Valley made school history last season, marking the first time that the team has had three consecutive seasons with at least 17 wins.

Nichols came to SVSU after serving as the associate head coach at Detroit Country Day School, where he was on the staff for three seasons.

While at Country Day, he helped lead the Yellowjackets to a pair of Class B District Championships. Nichols helped mold the games of three different players who have gone on to play at the NCAA Division I level.

Prior to coaching at Country Day, Cameron was the head coach at Detroit Renaissance High School for six years, where was named the MHSAA Region 2 Coach of the Year in 2008 after leading the team to a district crown. The Phoenix claimed two PSL West League championships under his direction. Thirteen of Nichols's players from Renaissance played collegiate basketball, including 10 of whom competed in the GLIAC.

During his high school coaching tenure, Nichols coached elite travel team basketball with the REACH Legends youth basketball program. Nichols has been involved with Elite basketball camps around the state, including the Michigan Elite 25 camp and the Reaching Higher Showcase. He has run Coach Cam's Elite 90 Shooting Session, which is one of the top tier shooting camps in the midwest.  

Nichols, an alumnus of Saginaw Valley State University, played four years for the Cardinals from 2000-2003. He was named the Thoroughbred Award winner his junior season. Cameron was honored with the Senior Award in 2003 and was named the GLIAC Player of the Week in February of that year. Nichols was also named the team's Most Improved Player in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.

During his high school playing days at Detroit Cass Tech High School, he led the team to a pair of district titles, a regional championship and a PSL city championship in 1998. 

Nichols graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems. 

Barry Huckeby
Assistant Coach

Barry Huckeby will be entering his second season with the SVSU Men's Basketball Coaching Staff for the upcoming 2017-18 season. He helped lead the Cardinals to 17 victories in the 2016-17 campaign, the first time the program has strung together three straight seasons with at least 17 wins. 

Huckeby came to Saginaw Valley after serving as the assistant men's basketball coach at Northwood University for six seasons. 

Huckeby had spent the previous three seasons before Northwood as an assistant coach at Saginaw Valley State. He helped the Cardinals reach the GLIAC Tournament for the first time in more than 10 years in 2010 in his first stint with SV.

Prior to arriving at SVSU, Huckeby coached seven seasons at Blue River Valley High School. He went 117-45 in seven seasons, winning five conference, four sectional and two regional championships. His 2001 team was the state runner up. Huckeby earned his degree from Miami University, where he was a member of two MAC Championship teams.

Huckeby received his bachelor’s degree in Math Education from Miami University in 1996 and his master’s degree in Education from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1999. His wife, Jennifer, is an elementary teacher and they have 3 sons - Jackson, Bryson and Wilson.

Tommy Twardecki
Assistant Coach

Twardecki joined the Cardinal coaching staff in January 2018.
He comes to SVSU from Henry Ford Community College, where he served as an assistant coach. He was an assistant coach at Mott Community College for the 2016-17 season in his other collegiate stop. 
Tommy served as a graduate assistant at Grand Ledge High School while earning his master's degree in Kinesiology from Michigan State University in 2016. He earned his bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2014.