Indiana confirmed the hiring of Dane Fife at Mike Woodson’s coaching staff on Monday afternoon.
Indiana University men’s basketball coach Mike Woodson has announced that former Hoosier player and assistant coach Dane Fife will return to his alma mater and join IU staff. The Clarkston-born Michigan is returning after spending the last 10 seasons at Tom Itzo’s headquarters in Michigan, the last three as an associate head coach.
“Dane is the person I’ve always had the most respect for,” Woodson said. “His knowledge of the Big Ten and his success as a recruiter will be an invaluable asset, as we strive to continue to build staff to help elevate this program to the highest levels. I know he loves his love for the Husseins, and this university comes across the moment you talk to him, and we̵
A graduate of IU in 2002, Fife led the Husseins to the national title game and a share of the regular season of the Big Ten Championship. Individually, he was named the player of the Big Ten defensive game of the year as a senior. He was a career leader in Indiana with 180 thefts during his four-year career (1998-2002), while the 53 he recorded as a senior ranked for the eighth best single season at IU. With 99 career 3 points, he ranks among the top 20 in the school’s history, while his 47-point percentage with 3 points in 2001-02 ranks sixth in the IU’s one-season rankings. The 37 games he started as a senior established the Indiana brand for one season, while the 131 games he played in the course of his career rank tied for sixth place for all time at IU.
He spent two seasons as an administrative assistant on the staff of then-Hoosier coach Mike Davis after graduation.
In 10 seasons with the Spartans, he was part of a staff that produced 9 places in the NCAA tournament, 4 titles in the Big Ten, 1 appearance in the Final Four, 8 all-American, 10 NBA spades and 3 big ten players of the year.
Under the leadership of Fife, Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston won consensus awards for the second American team for three consecutive years, Bridges in 2018 and Winston in 2019 and 2020. From 2016-18, Fife worked closely with Bridges , selected by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery ., became the all-time leader in conference and school assists, breaking a 20-year record held by Mateen Cleaves. He was selected in the second round of the NBA 2020 Draft. The Spartans led the country in the total number of assists in 2018-19 with 715, finished third in assists per game in 2019-20 (18.3) and ranked number 11 in the assists / turnover ratio (1.45). 715 assists of the team were the second most in one season in the history of the program, the second consecutive year the Spartans were among the top three in the record book. Fife has also contributed to MSU’s research and recruitment efforts. He was among the top recruiters in several top 10 recruitment classes, including the 2016 class, which included Bridges, and the 2018 class, which included Jaren Jackson Jr. In May 2020, The Stadium listed Fife as one of the top assistant coaches in the Big Ten.
In 2018, MSU led the nation in game assists (19.1) and ranked No. 2 in the country in total assists (670), while distributing the second largest assists in a season in the school’s history. Fife helped guide second-tier guard Cassius Winston to the Big Ten third team awards. Winston led the conference and ranked No. 8 in the country in game assists (6.9) and led the Big Ten conference with 3 percent field goals.
In 2015-16, Fife helped direct Denzel Valentine to National Player of the Year awards, while Brin Forbes won awards from all ten teams in the second team. Valentine was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery, while Forbes signed a free agent contract with the San Antonio Spurs. On the court, MSU led the nation in assists per game (20.5), while setting school one-season records for assists (719) and scoring 3 points (321).
A year earlier, Travis Tris and Valentine won the All-Big Ten. In 2013-14, Gary Harris won awards for the first big team and was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in 2014, one season after becoming the first Spartan to ever be named a freshman in the Big Ten. . Keith Upling and Valentine were honorary honors in 2014. For Upling, who joined MSU as a scorer, he won the All-Big Ten honors three consecutive seasons after developing as a defender.
Fife also puts the intensity of his defense as a player into his coaching role, as the Spartans have kept opponents below the .400 field for six of the last seven years, including leading the field in 2017-18 (. 367), while ranking second nationally in 2015-16 (.382) and 2011-12 (.379). He also plays an important role in MSU’s research and recruitment efforts. An May 2014 article by Jeff Goodman and Jay Bilas on ESPN.com lists Fife as one of the best candidates for head coach in the country.
Prior to arriving in East Lansing, he spent six seasons as head coach at IPFW, starting in 2005-06. At the time, he was the youngest head coach in Division I basketball, an award he held for five seasons. In each of its six seasons, the IPFW tied or broke its Division I record while Fife led independent mastodons from Summit League membership. He posted an 82-97 record, including 34-27 in the last two seasons and four years of 37-35 in the conference. In its last season 2010-11, IPFW finished with an 18-12 record. Fife mentored three performers at all conferences, including Jaraun Burroughs (2008, Second Team), Deilvez Yearby (2010, Second Team) and Ben Bots (2011, Second Team). Fife was Gary Steelhead’s first pick in the 2002 CBA Draft and started five of his 34 games in which he played with an average of 3.4 points.
A graduate of Clarkston High School in Michigan in 1998, Fife received the Hal Schram Basketball Award in 1998. He was also a selection for McDonald’s and Parade All-America while playing for his father, Dan.
He holds two degrees from Indiana, earning a bachelor’s degree in recreation (2002) and a master’s degree in athletic administration (2005). His family includes his wife, Blair, and daughters, Quinley and Reagan.