Hawkeye Fan-Favorite Austin Ash Chooses Next School After Months
Austin Ash spent the last five years of his life in Iowa City representing the Hawkeyes despite his lack of playing time -- and lack of financial help.
The former walk-on from Cedar Rapids ultimately did receive a scholarship in his fifth and final year at Iowa -- the same season the Hawks won the Big Ten Tournament for the first time in 16 years.
In his minimal time on the court, Ash showed fun flashes of his ability to shoot the ball, sending fans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena into a frenzy when he'd splash home a three. But, playing just 163 minutes over 44 games (he was available for 133 games over that stretch) in his career makes for a measly 3.7 minutes per game.
On April 1 after the season came to an end, the local fan-favorite announced he'd be entering the transfer portal as one last-ditch effort to get some much-deserved time on the court before his collegiate basketball career came to an end.
What he encountered next was to be expected, frankly.
Silence. And lots of it.
Until today, as I'm writing this, I didn't hear a word about Ash receiving interest from the portal. A source close to the situation told me that they hadn't heard anything regarding his recruitment last week.
But everything can change in an instant -- and seemingly, it did.
As of Wednesday night, June 15, Ash decided he will spend his final year of eligibility playing for the Bulldogs of The Citadel.
Located in Charleston, South Carolina, Ash's new school is a senior military college with a student population of just under 3,700.
Last season, the Bulldogs went 13-18 overall with a record of 6-12 in the Southern Conference (SOCON). They finished second to last, just above Western Carolina (11-21, 5-13). Chattanooga won the regular-season title in the SOCON, going 27-8 overall and 14-4 in conference play.
The Bulldogs lost their three leading scorers from last season to graduation and the transfer portal. The top scorer they bring back is senior forward Stephen Clark, who put up 9.7 points per contest in 2021-2022. He also grabbed 6.1 rebounds per game and swatted 75 total shots.
Citadel hired Ed Conroy to take over the program as head coach after firing his predecessor, Duggar Baucom this offseason. This will be Conroy's second stint as the head man at Citadel, as he previously led the Bulldogs from 2006 to 2010. Over that time frame, his teams went 49-76 overall. Their lone winning season came in 2008-09, as they posted a record of 20-13.
His other NCAA Division I experience came as an assistant at Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Coastal Carolina, NC State, Furman, Tulsa, and Tennessee. He was also head coach at Tulane from 2010 to 2016.
Conroy is a Davenport, Iowa native.