Brian Eskildsen completed his third season as a member of head coach Tommy Amaker's staff in 2016-17 after helping the Crimson to an Ivy League championship and trip to the NCAA tournament in 2014-15.
Harvard capped the 2016-17 season with an apperance in the inaugural Ivy League tournament. The Crimson - the 10th-youngest team according to KenPom rankings - finished 18-10 overall, including a 10-4 mark in Ancient Eight play.
Harvard saw two student-athletes receive all-conference accolades in 2015-16 highlighted by Agunwa Okolie's selection as Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. Okolie was also named All-Ivy League honorable mention with Zena Edosomwan receiving All-Ivy League second team honors. Despite losing eight letterwinners from the previous year the Crimson competed well on the national stage, reaching the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic with wins over BYU (85-82, OT) and Auburn (69-51) before falling to then No. 3 Oklahoma, 83-71. Harvard also found itself tied with then No. 4 Kansas with under 8:00 to play in Allen Fieldhouse, but ultimately fell to the Jayhawks, 75-69.
In his first season on staff, Harvard continued its reign atop the Ancient Eight in 2014-15, finishing the regular season tied with Yale for the Ancient Eight crown. The Crimson defeated the Bulldogs in a one-game playoff for the right to represent the Ivy League in the NCAA tournament, where it fell to fourth-seeded North Carolina, 67-65, despite taking a 65-63 lead with 1:15 to play. Harvard also completed its second straight season sweep of traditional Ivy powers Penn and Princeton during the regular season, becoming the first program in conference history to do in consecutive years. Three Crimson earned All-Ivy League recognition, including three-time All-Ivy honoree Steve Moundou-Missi who was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year.
Eskildsen arrived in Cambridge after spending the 2013-14 season with the Rice Owls as an assistant coach to head coach Ben Braun. While at Rice, Eskildsen served as the team’s recruiting coordinator and was in charge of opponent scouting. Eskildsen worked directly with the Owls’ post players on the court, and was also responsible for game scheduling.
Prior to his time in Houston, Eskildsen spent three seasons at Stanford working under head coach Johnny Dawkins, a former teammate of Amaker’s at Duke. As the Cardinal’s recruiting and video coordinator, Eskildsen was responsible for assisting in all facets of the recruiting process, including managing the program’s recruiting database. Additionally, Eskildsen assisted with scouting video and film exchange.
Stanford claimed the 2012 National Invitational Tournament title with Eskildsen on staff, capping off a 26-11 campaign. The Cardinal returned to the NIT in 2013. Stanford went 60-42 overall during Eskildsen’s time in Palo Alto, placed seven individuals on the All-Pac-12 teams and had 18 individuals earn recognition on the Pac-12 All-Academic teams.
Eskildsen began his coaching career in 2009-10 as the director of operations for the University of New Orleans. He attended Tennessee as an undergraduate and served as a program assistant and scout team player for the Lady Vols under Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame head coach Pat Summitt. While at Tennessee, he was a member of two national championship teams.
Eskildsen is a native of Fairfax, Virginia, and is an alum of WT Woodson High School, the same high school Amaker attended.