MARSHALL — After finishing in the top 15 and advancing to the second round of the NAIA Men’s Basketball Playoffs, building upon that success is the plan for new head coach Chase Campbell, who was introduced Thursday in a press conference.
Campbell succeeds Jay Smith — who led the Wildcats to 33 wins in two seasons — including a 24-7 record last season. The Wildcats — who made their second NAIA Tournament appearance in three seasons — won in the first round of the NAIA Tournament for the first time in 49 years.
“At Wiley College, Tradition never graduates,” said Campbell.“What a rich tradition we have here. I’m excited to be here.”
Campbell comes to Wiley College with 11 years of coaching experience – spending the last two seasons at Tuskegee University as an assistant coach. He helped the Tigers finish in the top 10 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in several offensive categories. Campbell was responsible for scouting, recruiting, managing the budget, game-planning and late game situations.
Last season, the Wildcats ranked in the Top 25 of the NAIA in opponents 3-point and overall field goal percentage, rebounds and offensive rebounds per game, assists per game, eighth in scoring margin, rebound margin, points per game, defensive rebounds per game free throw percentage and in points allowed per game. Campbell said he will bring an exciting style of basketball to Wiley College.
“We are going to play a style that will be unbelievably fast and intense,” Campbell said.“We are definitely going to defend but we are absolutely going to put the ball in the basket.”
Prior, to Tuskegee, Campbell spent one season as an assistant coach at Benedict College. His team was second in the conference in scoring defense and fourth in field goal percentage. He helped guide them to the SIAC Semifinals.
Campbell spent three seasons at his alma mater Paine College – serving as interim head coach in 2015-16 – guiding it to the second-best scoring offense in the SIAC. In 2014-15 as an assistant, he helped Paine College to the regular season SIAC title with a 23-6 overall record and 18-3 in conference play. In 11 seasons, Campbell has coached 13 All-Conference athletes including two Players of the Year.
Though focused on continuing the Wildcats’ success on the court, he will also want his student-athletes to be successful in the classroom.
“I have a saying that the greatest teachers teach people how to teach themselves,” Campbell said.“We want to make sure we are recruiting young men that are not only committed to the athletic portion but also the academic portion. We got to make sure they graduate especially with the times America is in now.”
Campbell is projected to inherit six players from last season’s team – including Red River Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Ferontay Banks and Travious Grubbs – who started 25 games last season.