The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

January 31, 2013

Bolen weighing options for future after UC-Beckley announcement

BECKLEY — Former Mountain State University head basketball coach Bob Bolen has been in an unusual situation this season.

The highly successful coach has been watching more games on TV since the demise of his program amid MSU’s closure.

And he is taking his kids to the gym every night - including his daughter Katie’s volleyball games and practices as a freshman at Woodrow Wilson High School.

He has been coaching his son Jaysen’s fifth grade hoops squad and traveling to watch his son Andrew’s third grade team.

And waiting.

A lot of waiting.

Reached Wednesday, Bolen was still processing his options.

Just about everything is on the table, regarding his career path...except coaching a JV basketball team.

Bolen, a Beckley native, became the West Virginia’s all-time leader in men’s college basketball career wins last season, tallying 487 victories from 1993 to 2012. The Cougars made the trip to the NAIA National Tournament 14 straight years from 1999-2012, including four national championship games. Last year’s team advanced to the NAIA Final Four. Over the last 12 years, MSU’s .865 winning percentage is the highest of any NCAA Division I, Division II or NAIA program.

With a resume like that and at a relatively young age of 49, Bolen should have some options.

And he does.

“I’m interested in what UC-Beckley is doing from an administrative standpoint,” he said. “I’d speak with them about a role like that. But I’m not interested in coaching a JV basketball team at all. The only reason that I’d accept an administrative role there is if I didn’t want to leave Beckley.

“I’m just not sure right now.”

UC announced Wednesday that its Beckley-based teams beginning this fall will initially be of junior varsity level, competing under NCAA Division II standards because it is a satellite campus of the University of Charleston.

Application for UC-Beckley to compete in the NAIA was denied.

Bolen’s name will likely be high on a lot of college athletic director’s list of candidates to fill coaching voids that pop up.

“I’ve had some calls from some (NCAA) Division I coaches that already know they have assistants that are leaving (following the current season),” Bolen said. “There are a couple of Division II (schools) that have called too, but they’re not local. I’m fairly certain there will be a job.

“I’m looking for a head coaching position at some level or to become a D-I assistant. It will come down to whether I want to pack up and leave Beckley or not.”

Bolen’s name had been tossed around about several vacant coaching positions down through the years.

“I had some opportunities — some really good — but I’ve always been happy in Beckley,” he said. “I’ve been waiting to see what would happen (in Beckley). Now I can only look forward.”

Although he is foremost a coach, his career could also take another path.

“There are some business opportunities in Beckley too, and that’s a possibility,” Bolen revealed. “Moving away from Beckley...I have some criteria that I’ll need to look at - it would have to be a great place to raise kids and would have to be a place that my family would be happy. Those are the main things.”

Bolen didn’t sound like someone ready to hang up his whistle just yet however.

“I still have a lot of coaching left in me,” he said. “I still love it and miss it. It’s been a blessing, having a year off. I’ve had a chance to spend time with my kids and re-charge my batteries. And I’ve enjoyed it. But I’m going to pursue coaching again.”

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like Scout.com and Rivals.com stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014

  • Paul Popovich, now 73, wishes he were playing baseball today

    If you’re a longtime baseball fan, you may recall Morgantown’s Paul Popovich.

    April 22, 2014

  • Hiring an interim while waiting on D’Antoni would be an injustice

    The search for Marshall’s new men’s basketball coach remained in a holding pattern over the Easter weekend while the Los Angeles Lakers put off their decision on coach Mike D’Antoni’s future until this week.

    April 21, 2014

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo