UC hires men's hoops coach
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The University of Charleston hired a men's basketball coach with a 77-115 overall record, but one that possesses "great character," according to school athletic director Dr. Bren Stevens.
The school on Monday announced the hire of Dwaine Osborne, who had been the head coach at the University of Texas at the Permian Basin, the same program from which current Golden Eagles women's coach Adam Collins was plucked.
"I knew from the get-go I wanted to be here, and be here bad," Osborne said at a press conference at UC.
The school was replacing Mark Downey, who left to take over at West Alabama.
Osborne has 17 years of coaching experience, seven as a head coach. He spent the last four at UTPB after turning around Glenville State's program.
At Glenville, he was the second youngest Division II head coach at the time at the age of 29. In 2008-09, the Pioneers were 20-9, the school's first 20-win season since becoming a Division II member.
AT UTPB, Osborne led the Falcons to two winning seasons and conference tournament appearances in 2010-11 and 2011-12. The program had only one winning season in school history prior to his arrival.
UC's Stevens said her school was seeking a coach who understood the game, had "great character," understood the school's "mission" and had ties to West Virginia. She said three candidates visited the campus, but Osborne impressed with his year-end player UTPB evaluation as well as his religious faith.
"He'll no doubt make the right decision," Stevens said.
The hire was made in light of a three-player incident under Downey's watch. Three of the team's best players - Robbie Dreher, Terrell Lipkins and Quincy Washington - were arrested, charged with robbery and subsequently kicked off the team.
"We have a large job here with the school's history and tradition," Osborne said. "It's a tall order, but we're going to get it done. We're going to do it the right way. We're going to pursue excellence and do it the right way."
The coach, who was graduated from Clearwater [Fla.] Christian College and earned a master's degree from West Virginia University, started his career as an assistant at the former. He was also an assistant at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in North Carolina.
Last season, UTPB, located in Odessa, Texas, finished 10-15 overall and 5-9 in Heartland Conference play. The Falcons averaged 66.4 points and allowed an average of 69.
In his four seasons at UTPB, Osborne's teams went 7-18, 16-12, 15-14 and 10-15 for an overall record of 48-59. According to Glenville director of media relations Jonathan Griffin, Osborne was 29-56 in three seasons with the Pioneers.
"He's been at two places that haven't fully funded their teams," Stevens said. "Given that we fully fund both our men's and women's basketball programs, we think [Osborne] will be successful."
Stevens said Osborne will be given "time and opportunity," especially after the loss of the arrested trio.
Osborne said when he was at Glenville, he considered UC "the best job in the West Virginia Conference."
He said the goal is to make the Golden Eagles an up-tempo team and noted his Glenville teams liked the 3-point shot.
"We'll try to get the best players we can and try to get them in the best system," Osborne said.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, email@example.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.