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College basketball: Osborne in as new UC coach

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- University of Charleston first-year men's basketball Coach Dwaine Osborne has one sure-fire mechanism to keep recruiting in line.

His 8-year-old son, Gavin.

Osborne was announced as UC's head coach at a press conference Monday at the school during which he told a story about Gavin.

"My older son, Gavin, sits on the bench every game," said the 37-year-old Osborne, who joins UC after four-year stints at Glenville State College and the University of Texas at Permian Basin. "He wants to win, but, at the end of the day he's pretty excited to give everybody five after the game and then somebody will throw him over their shoulder. I'm going to get back to the locker room, but somebody from the media is going to catch me. So, it'll be five minutes before I get back there.

"I don't want to wonder what my kid is seeing or hearing what he doesn't want to hear. When I evaluate guys and if there's a question on what you're going to do or what you're going to say in front of my wife and kids ..."

And so it goes, a new era begins with the Golden Eagles, who will have their third head coach in four seasons after the hiring of Osborne.

Osborne replaces Mark Downey, who was 60-29 with one NCAA Division II regional tournament appearance in three years at UC. His addition puts two former UTPB coaches on UC staffs, as second-year women's coach Adam Collins is a former Permian Basin head coach.

Osborne spent seven seasons at Glenville - three as an assistant and four as head coach - where he went 49-65, but capped his stint with a 20-9 record in 2008-09. It was Glenville's first 20-win season as an NCAA Division II school - a span of 14 seasons since the school, and the West Virginia Conference, moved from NAIA. The Pioneers advanced to the WVC Tournament quarterfinals that year.

He then accepted the same position at Permian Basin, where he recorded a 48-59 mark in four seasons, including the school's first Heartland Conference regular season championship (2010-11). The Falcons' first-ever victory in the conference tournament also came that season and Osborne earned Heartland Conference Coach of the Year honors.

Prior to his hiring as an assistant at Glenville in 2005, Osborne served as an assistant at North Carolina's St. Andrews Presbyterian College and Florida's Clearwater Christian College.

His arrival at UC comes on the heels of the abrupt resignation of Downey, who last month accepted the head coaching position at the University of West Alabama after serving three seasons on the Golden Eagles' bench. This past spring, three of Downey's players were arrested after allegedly assaulting and robbing a man in downtown Charleston.

The university then accepted applications for the coaching position. According to sources, a total of three coaches were interviewed - Osborne, WVU Tech Coach Bob Williams and Concord Coach Kent McBride.

"What I was told is the same way I think I would be told at any university: 'We want high quality people,'" Osborne said.

"I don't think any institution wants to be represented in any manner less than excellent, so, we talked a lot about that.

"I've had opportunities to sign some guys who probably would have helped us win a lot of games and we passed on them if their character is not where it needs to be."

Immediately after the press conference, Osborne said he needed to get on the phone and see what some of UC's returning players had planned.

One of them, former George Washington High School guard Santino DiTrapano, was in attendance at the press conference and plans to stay.

Upon hearing about Osborne's coaching style, DiTrapano said he was looking forward to playing for the former WVC head coach.

In his final season at Glenville, the Pioneers broke school records for 3-pointers made in a season (269), a game (21) and in a half (14). They also finished in the top 20 nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.413), 3-point field goals per game (9.3) and free throw percentage (.747).

The Golden Eagles will join eight former WVC schools in Concord, Fairmont State, Glenville State, Shepherd, West Liberty, Wheeling Jesuit, W.Va. State and W.Va. Wesleyan - as well as Notre Dame (Ohio), Notre Dame (Ohio) and Uva-Wise - in the new Mountain East Conference.

The Golden Eagles open the 2013-14 season at Eddie King Gym against West Liberty State University, which reached the NCAA Division II national tournament and was ranked No. 1 in the country most of the season.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at or 304-348-4837.



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