Jason March, a graduate of Florida State University and former team manager for Leonard Hamilton and the Seminoles, is the Head Coach of the Memphis Hustle in the NBA G League. He spent nine seasons in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies (2007-16), including two seasons as assistant coach and advance scout. March spent his first six seasons with the team in the video department, including time as director of basketball information and technologies. March also served as head coach of the Grizzlies’ summer league squad that went 5-0 and captured the championship at the 2015 Orlando Pro Summer League.
The Olive Branch, Miss., resident was an assistant coach for three years with the Sacramento Kings (2016-19) after getting his start in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns (2005-07) as assistant video coordinator.
March is assisted on his coaching staff by Seminole greats Michael Joiner (2001-04) and Deividas Dulkys (2009-12). Joiner was a member of the 2001 ACC All-Rookie Team, while Dulkys led the Seminoles to the first ACC Championship in school history in 2012.
Florida State plays host to Lipscomb in the first game between the Seminoles and the Bisons on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. The game will be aired live on the ACC Network.
March was on campus earlier this fall and was treated to the Seminoles’ football game against Notre Dame. While he was showing his family his basketball roots, he spent time with the Florida State basketball team, taking in a couple of practices and one of the most exciting football games of the season.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a basketball coach?
“I knew early on at Florida State, working with Coach Hamilton and Coach Jones on a daily basis, that I wanted to stay in the sport one way or another. The more that I was around the Seminole program and continued to learn how things were done with the way they taught the game, I knew the sport of basketball was what I had to continue to pursue and grow in.”
What are some of the aspects of the job that keep you in coaching?
“I love being around people, building relationships, and teaching what I have learned in this game. In basketball, your roster can change from season to season, so it gives you a great chance to work on new relationships and continue to teach the game to new faces or grow your team.”
What are some of the things you have learned as an assistant in the NBA that have allowed you to be a successful head coach?
“I think one of the most important things is building relationships and caring about your players and the staff you work with. Another thing would be the relentless work to developing players. I love working with guys, and then seeing them continually get better throughout their careers.”
Who are some of your mentors, and what are the main things you have learned from each of them?
“I lean heavily on getting advice from the Memphis Grizzlies coaches. They have been head coaches, and they are always willing to help me in all situations. There are other coaches around the NBA that I will touch base with and pick their brain on different situations. But, I always know I can go back to where it all started and call (Florida State Associate Head Coach) Stan Jones. He is always up front and honest with me no matter what the situation is. I know he is going to tell me what he truly believes will help me, even if it may not be what I want to hear. That is the number one thing that I learned from him and have always tried to do with others in my career.”
You’ve moved up from video to information and technology to coach. What have you learned at each stop along the way that have helped shape your coaching philosophy?
“I started in the video room in Phoenix with the Suns and then went to Memphis. Those years taught me how hard you have to work to stay in this business. I learned a lot about the X’s and O’s of the game in that role. The next move for me was Advanced Scouting. That was a tough job, but I learned a ton from that. I was scouting all the head coaches in the NBA. I then got a chance to be an assistant coach. In that role I had a lot of responsibilities that I had to make sure were perfect every day to deliver for the head coach. In all of these positions, the teams were completely different. It helped me understand that you have to be willing to change styles of play at times, for what your roster looks like. I feel like no matter what kind of roster I have I can make our group work and form that togetherness you need to put yourself in the position to win.”
What are some of your fond memories of your time at Florida State?
“Some great friends that I still have to this day. Football games were a blast. The basketball team beat Duke at home (I think they were ranked No. 5 in the country at the time). The students rushed the court. That was a fun night for sure. I have to say one of my greatest memories was I the time I was able to spend time with Coach Bobby Bowden. I will never ever forget those talks and moments I had with him.”
What are some of the things you learned from Coach Hamilton and Coach Jones at Florida State?
“Those two men were, and still are, such a huge part of me growing up and me getting to where I am now. I guess one thing is just caring for people. Coach Ham and Coach Jones always had time for everyone, no matter what was going on with their crazy schedules. I would also say just working for what you want in life. Coach Jones used to tell me that you never know who is watching you. So always do your best. I could never thank them enough for giving me the opportunity to work and help with Florida State basketball.”
Is there a specific game that you remember the most about your time with the Florida State basketball program?
“It would have to be the home win against Duke in 2003. We were so prepared as always. We knew we had a good team. Just seeing it come together, and the students rush the floor. That was something I will never forget.”
What is your greatest memory of Florida State (on or off the court)?
“I loved living in Tallahassee. I had great relationships with great friends on and off the court. I enjoyed being on campus as much as possible. Going to football games, tennis matches, volleyball, and of course basketball games. There is really nothing that I can think of that I would have changed about my time at Florida State!”
What advice do you have for young people who want to get into coaching basketball at the professional level?
“Be ready to work. Nothing is easy, but it is worth it if you really want to achieve it. Maybe most importantly, don’t always feel like you have to be heard. Sometimes it’s better to let your work do the talking for you.”
What aspect of being a head coach do you enjoy the most?
“I really enjoy being around my team and working with them. Helping them develop their game and then seeing that work come out when they are on the court is an amazing feeling.”
You’ve added former Seminoles Michael Joiner and Deividas Dulkys to your coaching staff. Tell us about the connection with the former Seminoles.
“Mike was on that team when I was working with them. He was always a guy who worked hard at his craft. He was quiet but always someone you loved being around. We had a good friendship in college and tried to stay in touch through the years. When I had to put a staff together I spoke with Coach Jones and there was never another question after that. That’s the reason I added Deividas to my staff. I knew they would be a great fit for me and for our players.”