JERSEY CITY, NJ – Saint Peter's men's basketball head coach John Dunne has announced the addition of Dalip Bhatia and Matthew Johnston to his coaching staff for the 2017-18 season. Bhatia rejoins Dunne's staff as an Assistant Coach after departing for his alma mater, Rutgers University, in 2013. Johnston joins Dunne's staff as the Coordinator of Basketball Operations and Video.
"To add Dalip Bhatia to the staff is a great addition for the upcoming season," said Dunne. "Bhatia is an extremely loyal and hardworking assistant and it is a major plus that he has familiarity with the program. Having him return after he spent three seasons in the Big Ten Conference, he brings experience to the table as well. I am fortunate to have him back."
"I am excited to return to Saint Peter's University to work under John Dunne's leadership again," said Bhatia. "Coach Dunne is a good friend and mentor and I have great memories of winning a MAAC Championship in 2011. I look forward to working with the rest of the coaching staff, the student-athletes, and the wonderful people on the Saint Peter's campus."
Bhatia spent three seasons at Rutgers University from 2013-2016 under former NBA head coach Eddie Jordan in multiple roles. Bhatia was an assistant coach for the 2015-2016 season where his responsibilities included recruiting, scouting, game plan preparation, player development, and overseeing compliance matters for the program. Prior to being promoted to assistant coach, Bhatia served as the Director of Basketball Operations from 2013-2015 where he oversaw all daily operations for the program while being responsible for team travel and lodging, practices, facility use, and overseeing compliance matters while playing a major role in the team's on-campus recruiting efforts. During his tenure at Rutgers, Bhatia was part of a coaching staff that recorded the program's most historic upset by defeating then #4 ranked Wisconsin in 2015.
Prior to joining the Rutgers coaching staff, Bhatia spent five seasons under Dunne from 2008-2013 on the Peacocks staff. Cited by Saint Peter's as the first known Division I men's basketball assistant coach of Indian descent in NCAA history, Bhatia helped the squad earn the 2011 MAAC Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in sixteen years. During the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, Saint Peter's was second in the country in back-to-back years in defensive field goal percentage for all Division I teams at 37.7 percent and 37.6 percent, respectively. These strong defensive efforts made the Peacocks consistently one of the toughest opponents to play against. In his role with the Peacocks, Bhatia's responsibilities included recruiting, scouting, game plan preparation, player development, and overseeing academics along with other administrative duties. Bhatia coached numerous All-MAAC players: Ryan Bacon on the All-MAAC Second Team, Wesley Jenkins on the All-MAAC Second Team, Nick Leon on the All-MAAC Third Team, Darius Conley on the All-MAAC Third Team and Jeron Belin, who was named the 2011 MAAC Tournament MVP. Bhatia also recruited Quadir Welton, who later went on to earn All-MAAC First Team Honors during the 2016-2017 season under John Dunne.
Prior to spending the 2008-2013 seasons at Saint Peter's, Bhatia was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Kean University during the 2007-08 season in which he joined Rob Kurzinsky's initial coaching staff, in which the team advanced to the NJAC Tournament for the first time in seven years.
Bhatia earned a Bachelor's degree in accounting from Rutgers University in 2005. He worked as a senior auditor at Deloitte LLP in Princeton from 2005 to 2007. During his tenure with the firm, he began his career on the hardwood, serving as a volunteer assistant boys' varsity coach at North Brunswick High School.
Matt Johnston begins his first season under head coach John Dunne in 2017-18 as the Coordinator of Basketball Operations and Video. Prior to his arrival in Jersey City, Johnston spent four seasons as a manager for the Rutgers University men's basketball team under former head coach Eddie Jordan, and current coach Steve Pikiell. Matt served as head team manager for his final two seasons. His responsibilities included assisting with video editing, team travel, and other daily operations. He has worked with the AAU program, the Raritan RoundBallers, as both an assistant and a head coach. He also spent his summer coaching at several camps including The Hoop Group, Syracuse University, and Princeton University. Johnston earned his bachelor's degree in Supply Chain Management from Rutgers in 2017.