OXFORD, Ohio—A sixth men’s basketball jersey will adorn the Millett Hall rafters as Miami University Athletics will retire Charlie Coles’ #10 during the 2014-15 basketball season. Coles’ jersey will join Ron Harper’s #34, Wayne Embry’s #23, Dick Walls’ #44, Darrell Hedric’s #86 and Wally Szczerbiak’s #32 and is the first men’s basketball jersey number to be retired since Szczerbiak’s in September 2001.
“Charlie Coles is an iconic figure in Miami Athletics history and it is fitting that his number forever be among the greats of our men’s basketball program,” said Miami Athletics Director David Sayler. “His legacy here as a student-athlete and coach will long be remembered and this is just a small symbol of the impact he made on so many over his time at Miami.”
In addition to the jersey retirement and to further honor all that Coach Coles meant to Miami University and the Oxford Community, the City of Oxford also has proclaimed that June 7, 2014 will be “Charlie Coles Day”. Coles passed away at the age of 71 on June 7, 2013.
"One of Charlie’s favorite sayings was, 'Living in Oxford is like being on vacation 365 days a year.' This so embodies his spirit and love for Oxford,” said Oxford Mayor Kevin McKeehan. “Proclaiming a Charlie Coles Day is natural. It reminds all of us of what a special place we have here.”
Coles (’65) was a standout guard for the Red and White from 1963-1965, earning three letters at Miami. He was a member of Miami’s Mid-American Conference co-championship team in 1964-65 and captured Second-Team All-MAC honors as a junior and senior. Coles averaged double figures in scoring all three seasons, including an 18.5 ppg average as a junior. He led Miami with a .503 field goal percentage that season (167-of-332). Coles ranks 30th on Miami’s career scoring list with 1,096 points and his 15.4 ppg career average ties for 10th all-time at Miami.
He went on to a coaching career that spanned almost five decades, nearly half of which were enjoyed in the Mid-American Conference. Coles spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Miami from 1994-96 before assuming leadership of the program as head coach in 1996. He guided the RedHawks for 16 seasons as head coach (1996-2012) becoming Miami men’s basketball’s all-time wins leader with a 263-224 record.
Combined with his six seasons as head coach at Central Michigan (1985-91), Coles amassed a MAC record of 218-155, posting more conference wins than any other coach in league history. Over 22 years as a collegiate head coach in the MAC, Coles tied for second among MAC leaders for career coaching wins with a 355-308 record.
Coles directed his first Miami squad to a 21-9 record and the 1997 NCAA Tournament and became just the second coach in Miami history to lead his team to the MAC title, 20 or more wins and the NCAA Tournament in his first season.
He led Miami to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 1999 with wins over Washington and Utah, which marked the first time a Miami team won two games in the NCAA Tournament. Also in 1999, Miami won its 20th MAC regular-season championship en route to a school-record-tying 24 victories (24-8) and also earned its highest national ranking in 20 years, finishing the season with the No. 20 spot in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll.
At Miami, Coles mentored two MAC Players of the Year, two MAC Tournament MVPs and 20 student-athletes who garnered 32 All-MAC awards, including 10 first-team honorees. In his last nine seasons at Miami, the RedHawks had eight student-athletes capture a combined 10 First-Team All-MAC accolades and Miami was the only MAC men's basketball program during that stretch to have at least one first-team honoree each of the nine seasons.
Coles was twice named MAC Coach of the Year (1987; 2005) and was the 2011 NABC District 14 Coach of the Year. As a MAC head coach, his teams made eight postseason appearances (Central Michigan: NCAA 1987 – Miami: NCAA 1997, 1999, 2007; NIT 2005, 2006; CBI 2008, 2011).
During his tenure as head coach, Coles was thought to be the only Division I head coach to teach a class – appropriately a basketball coaching theory class at Miami University. He was presented with a Guardian of the Game Pillar Award for Education presented by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in 2011.
He was inducted into the Miami Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990, the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 and MAC Hall of Fame in 2014.
Coles was involved with the development of the Coaches vs. Cancer of Southwest Ohio initiative and assisted with the United Way campaigns in Oxford. He was actively involved with his church and also found time to coach his granddaughter’s youth flag football and basketball teams.
Miami plans to retire Coles’ jersey number during its home men’s basketball game against Ohio University. Further details on the jersey retirement will be announced once the 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule has been finalized.