CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bryan Poore sat in his renovated office inside the ever-changing Fleming Hall earlier this month. He has his new digs, and in the coming months construction of a new 1,300-seat basketball facility will be complete.
The 49-year-old - who begins his 15th season as West Virginia State's men's basketball coach when the Yellow Jackets host Bluefield State tonight - is surrounded by newness.
State is part of the fledgling 12-team Mountain East. The facilities - which include the court, locker rooms, meeting rooms and offices - have given the athletic department a much-needed facelift and shot in the arm for recruiting. In fact, this year's basketball newcomers will get to play one game in their new gym: March 1 against the University of Charleston.
In addition to the hoops home, State's roster is new, too. The 10-19 record of a year ago snapped a 10-season run of winning records for Poore, so he jettisoned the problems and welcomed 11 fresh faces.
The biggest change, however, may have occurred with the man who sits behind the big desk in the basketball offices.
"I feel like I'm almost starting over, which is good," Poore said. "I don't think it was burnout; whatever it was, it's gone now. I've got that passion going again and that intensity, and I think it could be from the new president, new gym, new office and new players.
"I'm having fun again."
That, he said, wasn't the case in the twilight of the 2012-13 season. The man with the salt-and-pepper hair may have had more of the former than the latter as he lost more games than he ever had in a single season. The 15 league losses equaled the number of conference games State lost during a five-season stretch ending in 2009-10.
"We had a bad mix last year and they couldn't get along and wouldn't buy in," Poore said. "If you don't get your team to play hard and play together, you're done. You can't compete.
"There were players I wasn't comfortable with carrying my paycheck in their mouth."
The team lost games. Poore felt like he lost himself. He attributed that to his mother's passing in 2011, which left Poore with a burden that became difficult to bear as a collegiate coach.
"Death makes you think about the bigger things in life and not the details," he said. "The little things, like players being late or not being disciplined, didn't bother me as much. My mom died and the other stuff seemed unimportant. Being late for practice or not having the right shoes seemed unimportant compared to death.