OXFORD, Ohio-Miami University Athletics will honor legendary men's basketball coach Charlie Coles at halftime of the Miami vs. Kent State men's basketball game on Saturday, March 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Coles, a 1965 Miami University graduate, spent 16 seasons at the helm of the men's basketball program at Miami and served 22 seasons as a head coach in the Mid-American Conference. In 2010-11, Coles was presented with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Guardian of the Game Pillar Award for Education presented by the Hartford. Coles, the 22nd head coach in Miami history, retired from coaching on March 5, 2012, following the RedHawks' final game.
"We are proud to honor Charlie Coles for all that he has meant not only to Miami University but to Mid-American Conference basketball," said Miami Director of Athletics David Sayler. "He spent his life teaching the game of basketball and developing quality people on and off the court, and it is special for Miami Athletics to publicly recognize Coach Coles for his contributions to the game, the MAC and his alma mater."
During Coles' head coaching tenure, the RedHawks made seven postseason appearances--NCAA 1997, 1999, 2007; NIT 2005, 2006; CBI 2008, 2011--and Coles mentored 20 players who garnered 32 All-MAC awards, including 10 first-team honorees. Over his last nine seasons, Miami has had eight players--Juby Johnson, Chet Mason, Danny Horace, William Hatcher, Tim Pollitz, Michael Bramos, Kenny Hayes and Julian Mavunga--capture a combined 10 First-Team All-MAC accolades and is the only MAC men's basketball program to have at least one first-team honoree each of the last nine years.
Additionally, Miami had two MAC Players of the Year under Coles--Bramos in 2009 and a unanimous selection in Wally Szczerbiak in 1999--while Devin Davis captured MAC Tournament MVP honors in 1997 and Pollitz was the 2007 MAC Tournament MVP.
Coles produced a 263-224 record over 16 years as the RedHawks' mentor and became Miami's all-time leader in coaching wins with a 67-60 triumph at Bowling Green on Jan. 20, 2009. He also guided Miami to three MAC regular-season crowns (1997, 1999, 2005), while making appearances in the championship game of the MAC Tournament his first five years. The RedHawks won the league's tourney title in 1997 and 2007.
Over 22 seasons as a head coach in the MAC--six at Central Michigan and 16 at Miami--Coles amassed a 355-308 (.535) overall record and a 218-155 (.584) MAC mark. His 218 career MAC wins are the most in league history, surpassing long-time former Toledo head coach Bob Nichols' league-record 194 conference wins with a 79-67 win over Ohio on Jan. 16, 2010. His 355 career wins tie long-time Ohio head coach Jim Snyder for second among MAC coaching leaders.
Coles was named MAC Coach of the Year in 2005 and in 1987 and was tabbed the NABC District 14 Coach of the Year in 2011
Coles was inducted into Miami's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, and in May 2011 he was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.
Prior to the game at 1:30 p.m. there will be a reception in the Walter L. Gross Jr. Family Student-Athlete Development Center, and Coles will be the guest speaker. Fans with a ticket to the March 2 game are invited to attend but must RSVP to the Red & White Club by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27 by calling 513-529-8097 or emailing RWClub@MiamiOH.edu.
March 2 also will be Alumni Weekend as Miami Basketball will welcome back its alumni.