The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest 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.”

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 042014 old white Happy birthday to The Old White

    As Greenbrier owner Jim Justice proudly stood behind the podium on the first tee box addressing a crowd at the 100th anniversary of the historic Old White TPC Course, a surprise guest emerged from the bushes by the tennis center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 bubba Watson becoming a West Virginian

    Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was glued to the television a week ago today, watching Bubba Watson try to chase down his second green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 spartans LOCAL ROUNDUP: Spartans win Spring Break Wooden Bat Classic

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • St. Joe’s Lewis named 2014 High School Coach of the Year

    Huntington St. Joseph girls basketball coach Shannon Lewis has made a habit of celebrating success in Charleston over the last few years.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014