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WINSTON SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY
Q - WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE NAMED THE HEAD COACH OF WINSTON-SALEM STATE?
A – It means the world to me to occupy the seat that a legend and my mentor sat in. There is a strong sense of obligation to excellence, history, and legacy.
Q – HAVE YOU HAD ANY SURPRISES, EARLY ON?
A - The support of the Alumni. The pride of the RAMS support has been absolutely mind-blowing! That is not just including young alumni, there is so much support from every era, going back to the 1950s.
Q – WHEN IT COMES TO RECRUITING, ARE THERE ANY SELLING POINTS THAT WSSU CAN BRING TO THE TABLE THAT OTHER SCHOOL MAY NOT BE ABLE TO?
A - Definitely! WSSU is like the who’s who of positive history. So much inspiration for students and student/athletes. We have Clarence Big House Gaines, Earl Monroe, Ted Blunt, Dee Todd, Stephen A. Smith, Cleo Hill Sr., Louis Farrakhan, Louise Smith, Newsome, and Yancy Thigpen and a host of other inspirational people who walked this path at WSSU.
Q - IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO?
A - Besides competing and winning, it would be getting to know my support system, players, faculty, staff, student body, alumni, and the community.
Q – DESCRIBE THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE GAINES CENTER, DURING GAMES?
A – Wild, exciting, organized chaos is what I call it. It was always very tough playing in THE GAINES Center. Now, I have that advantage. My team and I have a powerful army behind us.
Q - WHAT HELPED YOUR DECISION TO ACCEPT THE OFFER?
A - Well, it was a few different things, but high on the list would be the alumni support, history of the school, and great leadership. Meeting with Chancellor Robinson, I immediately saw his vision. Also, Athletic Director Walker’s vision matched the Chancellors. It was great seeing everyone on the same page.
Q - HOW DOES YOUR FAMILY FEEL ABOUT THE MOVE?
A - They are so supportive. The transitions my family has gone through over the last three years was an adjustment. My mom has been so strong! My brother and his fiancé have been a Godsend. My kids have been so positive. My wife has remained my inspiration and motivation. She kept me rooted spiritually, which is key in any transition.
RALEIGH, NC 2008-2015.
Q – COACH, WHAT ARE THE TOP FIVE THOUGHTS YOU HAVE ABOUT YOUR 2008-2015 EXPERIENCE IN RALEIGH, NC?
A - In no specific order, winning the CIAA Tournament, the birth of my two children (Sage and Michael), the exhibition game vs. Duke University, the Duke University press conference, the support of the alumni, and coaching the team chemistry of the 2010- 2011 squad.
Q - WHAT WAS THE TOUGHEST GYM TO PLAY IN?
A - Winston Salem State and Livingstone.
Q - WHAT WAS YOUR MOST DISAPPOINTING MOMENT?
A – The buzzer-beating defeat vs. Chowan during the CIAA tournament game was tough to take.
Q - WHAT WAS YOUR BEST MOMENT?
A - It wasn’t really a moment, but the overall execution in the 2011 CIAA tournament… the entire week.
Q - IN YOUR 7 YEARS IN RALEIGH, NC, WHO WOULD BE YOUR STARTING FIVE?
A - Tony Smith, Malik Alvin, Raheem Smith, Rodney Callwood, and Janius Chayne. It is a very tough call, and there are a lot of different variables, but those are the players.
Q - WHO WERE YOU MOST VERSATILE PLAYERS WHILE IN RALEIGH, NC?
A - My All Versatility Team: Dwight Bell, Darryl Johnson, Mike Devere, and Derrick Hunter. Those are players who played three or more positions.
CHEYNEY, PA 2003-2008
Q - COACH, WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 THOUGHTS OF CHEYNEY, PA FROM 2003-2008?
A – My first press conference as a head coach; marrying my wife; “the comebacks” 2004 (down 12 with 3 minutes vs. West Chester University) and the come back at Millersville University (down 26 in the second half and won by 8); coaching that 2007-2008 team – great chemistry; and also the leadership I served under. We had three great presidents and two great athletic directors.
Q - WHO WERE YOUR MOST NATURAL SCORES WITH NO PLAYS NEEDED?
A - Iren Rainey, Sean King, Mel Eason, Johnny Glouster, and Dawud Morris.
Q - ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM?
A - Ryan Sidney, Ellis Gindraw, Dominique Curry, Robert Simpson, and Timir Smith.
Q – WHAT WOULD YOU SAY WAS YOUR TOUGHEST OBSTACLE, WHILE COACHING IN CHEYNEY, PA?
A – The program had very limited funds for scholarships. But that never stopped us from working hard, preparing, and competing against programs who had full financial support.
Q – WHO WERE YOUR TOP 5 PLAYERS?
A - On talent, Anthony Frazier, Ed Braswell, Robert Simpson, Ryan Sidney, and a toss-up between Mike Fryer, Asaad Brown and Tymir Smith.
Q – WHO WAS THE TOUGHEST PLAYER YOUR TEAMS FACED?
A - Lincoln University’s Kyle Myrie was one of the toughest.
RALEIGH, NC 2000-2002
Q - TOP 5 THOUGHTS OF RALEIGH, NC 2000-2002?
A - In no specific order: winning the CIAA tournament; courting my wife; coaching the unbelievable talent we had; the comeback win vs. Carson Newman in 2002; and finally the intensity of rivalry games.
Q - HOW GOOD WAS RONALD MURRAY?
A - At that level, he was a shark in the water. I think he could have been that at the next level with the right team.
Q – WHAT WAS YOUR FUNNIEST MOMENT?
A - My wife would kill me if I mentioned the “key in the grass story.”
Q – WHAT WAS YOUR BEST NIGHT OUT?
A - Birthday gift from my wife (dating at the time) – went to Charlie Goodnight’s Comedy Club
Q - COULD THAT 2002 TEAM HAVE COMPETED IN THE ACC?
A - Yes, competed, and more!
LINCOLN, NE 1998-2000
Q - WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE MEMORIES OF LINCOLN, NE?
A - Having my first born, Ciara Simone; coaching in a great facility; getting so many calls about being seen on ESPN; talking to Roy Williams before the Kansas game; and playing one-on-one against former Husker and former Cleveland Cavs head coach, Tyronn Lue. I didn’t win, but it was fun.
Q – WHAT WAS YOUR FUNNIEST MOMENT, WHILE IN LINCOLN?
A - Watching a fellow colleague from the women's basketball coaching staff playing a security guard. She really destroyed him.
Q – DURING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU WILL ALWAYS USE, MOVING FORWARD?
A - Organization of practice and completing detailed scouting reports is a professional skill that I will always use.
Q - DO YOU PLAN TO COACH DI AGAIN?
A – I love to coach. I am also a competitor. If that means coaching at a level below DI, at DI, or in the NBA, I will always be prepared to compete and win.
Q – WHAT IS THE BEST TEAM YOU FACED, WHILE AT LINCOLN?
A - 2000 Iowa St Cyclones
DURHAM, NC 1996-1998
Q - COACH WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE MEMORIES OF DURHAM, NC?
A – I have many fond memories. Getting grounded spiritually is on the top of my list. I often recall coaching a talented group of young men. There are a lot of behind the scenes moments that only the players and coaches share. Another fond memory was going to the NBA draft and watch so many dreams come true in one night. I met legendary head coaches like Dean Smith from The University of North Carolina, John Thompson from Georgetown University, and Rick Pitino from North Carolina State University, all in the same summer. Also, playing in the faculty-student game and scoring 56 points.
Q - WHAT KIND OF KID WAS TRACY MCGRADY?
A - Shy kid with a very giving heart. Not a high maintenance kid.
Q - HOW WERE THE PRACTICES?
A - They were high level and high intensity all the time!
Q - WHO WAS THE HEART AND SOUL OF THAT TEAM?
A - I would say Travis Spivey from South Carolina. Tough as nails, great player and a good leader.
Q - COULD OTHER PLAYERS HAVE PLAYED IN THE NBA?
A - Travis Robinson, Corey Hightower, Max Owens. Maybe SR, Raymond and Donald Little as well.