UE men’s basketball coaching lineup set; workouts to begin next week
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - University of Evansville head men’s basketball coach David Ragland and his entire staff met with the media on Tuesday for the first time as a whole group.
The fast friends bring in experience from all levels of the game, and many of the coaches have worked together in their basketball careers.
New UE assistant coach George “G” Swanson has known Ragland for over 15 years. He joins the Aces from North Idaho College, where he spent the last eight seasons as an assistant coach. During his time at NIC, he directed multiple student-athletes to Coach Ragland’s programs following their JUCO careers.
“The way this group works together, we’re up early in the morning, we’re in the weight room, we’re on the treadmill working out together,” Swanson said. “We’re committed to us as a group. We’re in there showing our players that we’re going to do it as a coaching staff, you guys got to get on board and do it with us.”
The message to new recruits and returning players alike is the new coaching staff cares about their student-athletes.
“We want a good relationship with them,” Ragland said. “We’re going to be around, we’re going to invest in them on the court and off the court.”
Unique with this staff is that two of the coaches were former Purple Aces themselves. Ex-UE players Marcus Wilson and Craig Snow return home to join the program as Ragland’s assistant coaches.
“We’re here to build this thing back to where it was,” Snow said. “When I grew up close by, I could go down the list of names, all those guys are the reason why I came here. We’re trying to get that back to where you have that lineage. It recruits itself once you build it. Our first season, there is going to be a lot of exploration, but I know we’re excited to meet them and to get them in here and improve their games.”
Upon his arrival, Wilson reminisced on his time walking the halls as a player within the program.
“It’s an honor to be able to coach here,” Wilson said. “I felt it today when I was walking down the hallway and I saw a piece of paper on the floor. Coach had always told us if you see something on the floor, it’s your responsibility to keep this place up, I picked it up and remember thinking, this is my home.”
The common word each coach used to describe the vision of the re-energized Purple Aces program is “family.”
“We love relationships, we love talking to people, so we can reach out to a kid or his family and say we’re going to be an extension of your family at home and we truly believe that,” Wilson said. “For a kid to come here and know that he’s going to be embraced as a person first, that’s when you build the relationship and you can actually coach them at the level they need to be coached.”
Workouts with the athletes are set to begin next week.
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