Dear FSW Community,
It is with a heavy heart I compose this letter to notify Buccaneer fans, friends, students, staff and family that I have accepted a position as Assistant Coach at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. While I am excited about the opportunities ahead, I am sad to leave a community that has embraced my family and I over the past seven years, first as an Assistant Coach at FGCU and then as Head Coach of the FSW Buccaneers.
To have been selected from a wide variety of candidates to be the first coach to build and lead the new Buccaneers in 2015 was a privilege that I have held in high regard and a responsibility that I have aimed to manage with great care, dignity and respect – the type of respect the SWFL community deserves. For this honor, I wish to thank FSW President Jeffery Allbritten, former Athletic Director Carl McAloose and current Athletic Director George Sanders for the opportunity to bring my brand of basketball to the Suncoast Credit Union Arena. I hope that it has brought entertainment, pride and joy to the community we have served.
To my players, both former and current, I have been fortunate to work with many dedicated, student-athletes over my 18 years working in college basketball; and while I have many fond memories from each institution I have been employed at, my experience at FSW has been exceptionally special. As players you took a risk to journey with me to the unknown. I was an untested head coach in a new program, and you chose to help me create an atmosphere of prestige and loyal dedication to your sport, your community and your academic success. Together we built a pillar in the sporting community, a proud tradition in two-year college basketball which I am confident future student-athletes will seek to emulate. I am very proud of everyone that has entered our program, stuck with us and graduated. In just two years, we have progressed ten student-athletes to Division I institutions on full athletic scholarship with sights set on a four-year degree and a life-long commitment to personal betterment. This makes me extremely happy. Thank you for taking the journey with me.
I also want to thank our student-athletes’ parents/families. You trusted me to not just coach, but mentor and look after your sons from distances far and wide because you believed in my vision for their future. As a father, I understand the burden of such a decision, and I am grateful that you also chose me. Your support was important to me as anyone’s as it allowed the Buccaneer program to be successful immediately.
It has also been my great pleasure to work with outstanding administrators and staff in athletics, as well as administrators and faculty across campus. The FSW men’s basketball program was built on the backs of many fine individuals who contributed in both large and small manners, but always in significant ways. My hat goes off to everyone who has ever taken my phone call and guided me in my choices and decisions. Thank you from my bottom of my heart.
To the fans, for me and my family, it has been a fun ride! I can only hope that you have enjoyed the adventure as much as we have. To have the opportunity to go 56-10 in our first two seasons and 30-3 this past season was a great accomplishment; and without the support of you and the FSW community, this accomplishment would not have been possible. What we have started here at FSW is amazing, and you have full credit for creating a competitive environment that is second to none at the Junior College level. I will greatly miss the opportunity to greet and thank you after games, to share in the basketball experience with you and to build friendships both old and new among you. As I cannot do so in person, please allow this letter to serve as my final note of appreciation and gratitude. As I depart, I know that your support of this fine program, led by fine men under the guidance of now Head Coach Eric Murphy will only grow. I am confident that Coach Murphy will build on what we have started, and you will love how his team plays. I, myself, can’t wait to watch him, returning players and new players this coming season.
I leave FSW and SWFL with lifelong friends and special memories. We will miss this community dearly. Best wishes for greater success and even more opportunities to break new ground. There is a bright future ahead!