It seems as if he was a basketball coach forever. The last 16 seasons he has been at the helm of the Miami University men’s basketball program. Charlie Coles, 70, educator and basketball coach, announced his retirement. He made it official following the RedHawks loss to Toledo 60- 53 in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Miami ended the season at 9-21.
He had 22 seasons as a collegiate head coach, all in the Mid-American Conference, including six years at Central Michigan University. Coles finishes his career with a career record of 355-308, posting a 263-224 mark at Miami. Coles has more wins than any other coach in Miami history and more MAC wins than any other coach in conference history.
Coles captured MAC Coach of the Year honors twice, earning the award in 1987 while at CMU and again in 2005 leading the RedHawks. Additionally, while guiding Miami he had two MAC Players of the Year in Wally Szczerbiak and Michael Bramos and they both earned All-America honors under his tutelage. His 1987 CMU team was led by future NBA All-Star Dan Majerle.
At the 2011 NCAA Final Four he was honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches with the legacy award, Guardians of the Game Pillar Award for Education.
“Charlie Coles is an iconic figure in the history of Miami University as a student, athlete, server, leader, mentor and coach,” said Miami University Athletics Director Brad Bates. “He symbolizes all that is noble about the profession of coaching and his entire life has been dedicated to using a basketball curriculum to holistically develop young men. He is leaving an indelible mark on our program, our department and our University and the hundreds of people he has inspired, motivated and developed.”
Coles stressed academics with his squads and also during his tenure at Miami he continued to teach a theory of basketball class.
Coach Coles was hospitalized last week in Oxford, Ohio and missed the Buffalo game due to undisclosed illness. Jermaine Henderson, a 14-year program veteran and associate head coach, took over with team responsibilities. Coles had health interruptions with coronary problems in 1986 and again 1998 and most recently in 2008.
A month ago Coles said it was “looking more and more” like he would retire but added that he still wasn’t sure about his ultimate decision.
Coles affectionately calls Saginaw, Michigan his hometown even though he was born in Springfield, Ohio. That’s because he had tremendous success coaching at Saginaw High School from 1972-82.
Coles played at Miami from 1963 to 1965 and was inducted into Miami’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.