Anwar has worked for new Southern Miss coach Doc Sadler, one of his mentors, at three schools and his best friend, Jeremy Cox, recently joined the staff.
Anwar decided to stay in Denton despite those connections late this week after a visit to Hattiesburg for two reasons – his connection with head coach Tony Benford and his belief that the Mean Green is on the verge of breaking through heading into his third season at the school.
UNT finished 16-16 last season after posting a 12-20 record in its first season under Benford.
“The momentum is going forward,” Anwar said. “I know we are going to do better things. Tony is a very good up-and-coming coach.”
Benford credited Anwar for playing a key part in UNT’s improvement last season.
Anwar has led UNT’s efforts to recruit top junior college players throughout his tenure with the Mean Green. He recently helped UNT land Muhammed Ahmed, a forward from Gillette College in Wyoming who was a third-team NJCAA All-American last season.
“David has done a great job and is well connected throughout the country,” Benford said, “He is well respected. We have good balance. We got the best player out of the DISD [Dallas Independent School District] in Jeremy Combs and went to Louisiana to get a great player there in Greg White-Pittman.”
Benford credited Scott Monarch for playing the lead role in UNT pulling in White-Pittman, who averaged 25.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game as a senior, when he was named the Class 5A MVP in Louisiana.
Anwar believes the groundwork UNT laid in its first season in Conference USA will help the Mean Green break out this year.
“It’s hard to go into a new league,” Anwar said. “I have done it three times. You have new arenas, new environments and new referees. We did well to win 16 games. Now we can try to go and win more.”
Benford likes UNT’s chances to do that with Anwar on his staff again next season.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Benford said. “Coach Anwar believes in what we are doing and that we have a chance to be good going forward.”
Benford said that UNT has a few of its nonconference games set for next season. UNT will play Dec. 3 at Oklahoma State and will also play at Texas Tech. UNT will host Creighton. Benford and his staff are also working to land UNT a spot in a regular season tournament.