FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2005
JU's Announces Finalists for Men's Basketball Coach

April 15, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Cliff Warren, assistant coach at Georgia Tech University, and Jim Yarbrough, head coach at Valdosta State University, have been named finalists for the men's basketball head coaching position at Jacksonville University, Dolphin athletic director Alan Verlander announced today. Warren and Yarbrough have won a combined nine conference championships and coached in a combined 11 postseason tournaments, including eight NCAA tourneys and a combined 15 NCAA tournament games. The Dolphins are looking to replace JU's all-time winningest coach, Hugh Durham, who retired on March 21st.

"In the committee's eyes, these two candidates separated themselves from the rest of the pool," said Verlander, who was named JU's seventh director of athletics just two weeks before Durham retired. "We are confident that either candidate will take the program in the right direction."

Warren has spent the last five seasons as an assistant to Paul Hewitt at Georgia Tech, where he has helped lead the Yellow Jackets to 96 wins. Since Warren's arrival in 2000, Georgia Tech has made four postseason appearances (3 NCAA; 1 NIT), including the school's first-ever trip to the NCAA National Championship game in 2004.

Prior to joining the Tech staff, the 37-year-old Warren spent three years as an assistant at Sienna College under Hewitt, where he helped lead the Saints to a 66-27 record, the 2000 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season championship and the 1999 MAAC Tournament championship. Sienna made three straight appearances in the MAAC Tournament Finals and earned two postseason berths: NCAA in 1999 and NIT in 2000.

Warren started his career as an assistant at his alma mater, Mount St. Mary's, under the legendary Jim Phelan. In 1995, Warren helped lead the Mountaineers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance and then followed that with an NIT appearance in 1996. He was a two-year starter for Mount St. Mary's, where he finished his career ranked in the top five in assists and top 50 in scoring in the Mountaineers' record books.

Yarbrough has spent the last five seasons as head coach at Valdosta State, where he has led the Division II Blazers to 97 wins, two Gulf South Conference Eastern Division titles (2002, 2004) and two NCAA South Regional appearances (2002, 2004). For his efforts, Yarbrough was twice voted South Regional Coach of the Year (2002, 2004). He was also tabbed Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year in 2003-04.

The 41-year old Yarbrough began his coaching career as an associate head coach at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, where in six years (1987-92) he helped lead the Bulldogs to two state championships and three state final four appearances. His collegiate coaching career began as an assistant at West Florida from 1992-94 before becoming an assistant coach at the College of Charleston in 1994.

In six seasons at the College of Charleston, Yarbrough helped lead the Cougars to six straight conference championships and five postseason appearances, including three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament from 1997-99. In 1997, the College of Charleston earned its first NCAA Tournament win by upsetting Maryland in the first round of the Southeast Regional in Memphis. Yarbrough is a 1987 graduate of Florida State.

Warren and Yarbrough will return to the JU campus next week to meet with University President Dr. Kerry Romesburg and Verlander. The Dolphins plan to announce a new head coach by the end of next week.