Mariners beef up staff with former player
From the The Brunswick News
College of Coastal Georgia wasted no time filling its lone coaching vacancy and has added former Mariner basketball player Jesse Watkins as an assistant to Gerald Cox and his men's basketball team.
Watkins played for Cox in the 1990s at Coastal Georgia -- then Brunswick College -- and will fill the vacancy left by the departure last month of Cox's longtime No. 1 assistant James Frey. Frey left to take the position of head women's basketball coach at South Georgia Tech in Americus.
This fall, Coastal Georgia will begin its second season of play in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and its 10 athletic teams will become full-fledged members of the NAIA's Southern States Athletic Conference.
"Any coach would tell you it's an honor to come back and coach at one of your alma maters," Watkins said in a statement released by the college. "It's like a second home to me."
Watkins, who starred at Screven County High in Sylvania and played for the Mariners from 1990-92, joins Cox's staff after stints at both the junior college and NCAA Division II levels. Following his playing days in Brunswick, he played at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., where he began his coaching career.
As an assistant coach at Wabash Valley Junior College in Illinois, he was part of a staff whose teams went 69-4 from 2000-2002 and won the 2001 National Junior College Athletic Association championship.
At his next stop, he helped coach Division II University of Southern Indiana in Evansville to a national runner-up finish. Watkins also spent time as an assistant coach at Mount Healthy High School in Cincinnati and as the recruiting coordinator at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.
He comes to Coastal Georgia from the Evansville (Ind.) Basketball Academy where he has been administrator and head of player development since 2006 while also coaching with success at the Amateur Athletic Union level.
"A few guys came to mind immediately when we needed to fill this position, and he was one of those," Cox said. "Jesse will do a good job. I know what his values are and how he will approach a lot of different situations. He thinks about basketball along the same lines as I do, and he will have keen insight into the game. He'll have a fresh prospective, which could be good for the program as a whole."
Watkins becomes the first former player to work under Cox in a professional capacity.
"It's an honor to be able to work with someone I have known for so long," Watkins said. "Coach Cox is like a father figure to me. It's a joy to be coming back and being able to work closely with him."
The Coastal Georgia men finished 6-23 in 2011-12, their first season playing above the junior college level as the team began mixing in NAIA and NCAA opponents in anticipation of their move into the SSAC.
Watkins will begin his duties for Cox -- who will begin his 31st year at Coastal this fall and has racked up 613 career wins -- on Aug. 1.
|Release Date: 7/20/2012|
Source: The Brunswick News
|By Local Sports|