Brian Thornton is Xavier's Director of Basketball Operations. "Brian is the perfect fit for our staff," said Mack. "He was a First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection. He was an All-Academic performer. As a student-athlete, he was the total package. He is sharp, personable and eager to begin what I believe will be a long, successful coaching career at the college level. He's a Xavier graduate and someone our players can emulate in every way."
One of things that will never be forgotten about Thornton is that he excelled both on and off the court at Xavier University. His senior season he was named as an ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American, the first Xavier men's basketball student-athlete to earn Academic All-American honors. In addition, he earned First Team Academic All-District 4, Atlantic 10 Conference Student-Athlete of the Year for two straight years and Academic All-Atlantic 10 for two straight years.
Thornton, 27, played two seasons at Xavier under Sean Miller after transferring from Vanderbilt University. He scored 1,175 points in his collegiate career, including 611 for Xavier and 564 for Vanderbilt. His two-year Musketeer career field goal percentage of 61.9 percent broke the XU career two-year record. Despite having his Xavier senior year cut short after 21 games due to injury, Thornton earned a long list of postseason honors, including 2005-06 First Team All-Atlantic 10 Conference and NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) All-District 10 First Team. Thornton led the team in scoring (15.3 ppg.), rebounding (6.8 rpg.), field goal percentage (first in the Atlantic 10 and top 10 in the nation at 64.0 percent) and blocks (2.1 bpg.) before seeing his career end during a game against La Salle at Cintas Center (2-11-06). XU finished that season at 21-11, won the Atlantic 10 Tournament and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Thornton averaged 10.7 ppg. and 5.8 rpg. as a junior in the 2004-05 season as XU finished 17-12. Thornton started 46 of his 48 games at Xavier.
Thornton played in 61 games in two seasons at Vanderbilt under Kevin Stallings, including 40 starts. He averaged 7.2 ppg. and 4.6 rpg. as a freshman in the 2001-02 season and earned a spot on the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team as he helped the Commodores advance to the second round of the postseason NIT. He averaged 11.5 ppg. and 5.7 rpg. as a sophomore in the 2002-03 season. Prior to Vanderbilt, Thornton was an All-State standout at Louisville's DuPont Manual High School.
Following his collegiate career, Thornton played professional basketball in Germany in the first division, Basketball Bundesliga League (BBL), in 2006-07 and helped his team reach the League Championship Game. He returned to Xavier in the fall of 2007 as a volunteer assistant on Sean Miller's staff, while completing work on his MBA. More recently, Thornton spent time in the business world as a manager in the Cintas Document Management Division.
Thornton was born February 19, 1983 in Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated cum laude with an undergraduate degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in business (2005) from Xavier University. He also earned his MBA (2007) from XU.