THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2009
JU head coach Cliff Warren named top 10 coaches under the radar
In his four years at Jacksonville University, head coach Cliff Warren has rebuilt the men’s basketball program into a perennial contender in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
His efforts have not gone unnoticed as he was named among the top 10 coaches under the radar nationally by Athlon in their annual college basketball preseason magazine.
Warren has directed one of the most amazing turnarounds in NCAA history. The Dolphins won just one game during Warren’s first season but became the first program in the modern NCAA history to go from one win to conference champions in three years or less.
“I’m very appreciative of this recognition of what our program has accomplished,” Warren said. “This is about the tremendous young men we have in our program and our staff developing these young men into not only good basketball players, but also good students and good people.”
Warren has led JU to three straight winning seasons, the first time JU has accomplished this since the mid-1990s. The Dolphins have played in the A-Sun Championship game the past two years after advancing to the semifinals just once prior to his arrival.
During his tenure, JU has seen four players selected to the A-Sun all-freshman team and four players picked first team all-conference with Ben Smith becoming the first Dolphin to be named Preseason A-Sun Player of the Year this season.
All of that hard work came to fruition last season when JU won its first regular season title in school history with the overtime win at Belmont on the last day of the regular season. With the title, the Dolphins made their first postseason appearance since an invite to the NIT in 1987.
COACHES CLINIC A SUCCESS: The 2009 Cliff Warren Coaches Clinic was widely hailed as a success as more than 40 coaches converged on Swisher Gymnasium. Leading the clinic was former JU head coach Tates Locke, who also served as a head coach in the NBA, as well as at Clemson and now is currently a Nike Skills Instructor.
“We had a great event and I want to thank Tates Locke for taking the time to talk us this year,” Warren said. “Having Tates and Joe Williams (JU head coach 1965-70) here was an honor for us as they have both put together distinguished coaching careers.”
2009-10 MEN'S BASKETBALL