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UIC hires three assistant coaches

Newly named UIC coach Howard Moore confirmed Monday he had finalized his coaching staff with his assistants being Al Biancalana, Donnie Kirksey and Michael Mennenga.

Biancalana has been the head coach at York High School in Elmhurst, Ill., since 2005. He had previously been an assistant at Bradley for six years. Moore was also on Bradley's staff and spent four years working with Biancalana.

"I got a chance to learn from him," Moore said. "Al is sharp. He's a tremendous coach and teacher. He's a great X's and O's guy. I struck gold when I was able to lure him away from York."

Kirksey was the head coach at Hyde Park High School for the past three seasons. He also was an assistant at DePaul and Chicago State.

"It's not just because Donnie's a Public League guy," Moore said. "Donnie's paid his dues. He's been in college. I've been watching him and how he built that Hyde Park program. I was pretty impressed by what he did there.

"There's no perception for me of Pubic League coaches. I'm a Public League alum. I'm a Public League product. I know there's good coaches in the Public League. I know they're hungry and passionate and want to do a good job. I don't care if it's the Public League, Catholic League, South Suburban. The biggest thing for me is guys affecting kids' lives."

Mennenga was last at Providence in 2009 as the team's coordinator of player development and video operations. He also has been assistant at Iowa State, Buffalo and Maine. He is originally from Rantoul, Ill.

"He's a pit bull," Moore said. "He's a great developmental and skills guy. He has great relationships throughout the country."

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.