Kennesaw State Names Penn State’s Lewis Preston as Head Men’s Basketball Coach
National search culminates with announcement of Nittany Lion Assistant Basketball
(Apr 20, 2011) —
KENNESAW, Ga. – (April 20, 2011) — Kennesaw State University officials have named Lewis Preston,
widely regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the country, as the Owls new
Head Men’s Basketball Coach. Preston, an assistant to Penn State’s Ed DeChellis for
the past three years, also served as an assistant to Florida’s Billy Donovan when
the Gators won the national championship in 2007 and was a member of Coach Mike Brey’s
staff at Notre Dame.
A press conference will be held in the coming weeks to formally introduce the new
head men’s basketball coach to the Kennesaw State campus and the local community.
“The hiring of Lewis Preston represents a new chapter in the elevation of our basketball
program, and we are eagerly looking forward to the arrival of our new coach,” Kennesaw
State University President Daniel S. Papp said. “This appointment builds on the momentum
within KSU Athletics that just keeps getting stronger.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity, and I am thrilled and humbled to have been chosen
by Kennesaw State,” Preston said. “My focus has always been on developing my student-athletes,
both athletically and academically, to their fullest potential. I can’t wait to get
started on hiring our assistant coaches and recruiting the additional players that
will complement our current team. I am happy to be coming to KSU as it kicks its
athletics program into high gear.”
Preston’s appointment is the first for newly named Kennesaw State Athletic Director
Vaughn Williams, who was introduced to the campus at a press conference last week.
Williams is slated to join KSU on May 2 from his role as associate athletic director
at the University of Connecticut.
“Lewis Preston’s leadership and drive to win is unsurpassed,” Williams said. “He has
what it takes to both motivate and inspire our players, and to fully leverage the
top-notch basketball facilities he will have at his disposal. He is one of the best
collegiate assistant basketball coaches around, and we are fortunate to have him on
Preston, who has served for the past three years as assistant coach of the Nittany
Lions, earned a reputation as a strong national recruiter and developer of post players.
A former player himself, the 40-year-old Preston excels in such key areas as scouting,
game preparation, recruiting and on-court teaching. He has coached in the collegiate
ranks for more than 10 years.
Prior to joining the Nittany Lions, Preston was an assistant coach at the University
of Florida for two years. During his first year, the Gators won the second of their
back-to-back national championships. He assisted in the development of eight current
professional players who were All-SEC performers, and also coordinated and assisted
in the recruitment of the top-ranked (Scout.com) recruiting class of 2007.
Preston also was an assistant coach at the University of Notre Dame for six years,
where he was part of three National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournaments
and three National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearances. He also assisted in the
development of six current professional players. Before joining Notre Dame, Preston
was an assistant coach for two years at Coastal Carolina University.
A 1993 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Preston was a basketball standout
for the Keydets, and later played professionally in Europe for four years.
Prestonwill replace Tony Ingle, KSU’s former head men’s basketball coach, whose contract
was not renewed at the end of the 2010-11 Season.
As KSU’s new head coach, Preston will be charged with recruitment, coaching, budget
management, purchasing equipment and uniforms, scheduling of games and practices,
public relations and fundraising. In addition, he will be fully responsible for the
academic achievement, retention and graduation of the team’s student athletes.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more
than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business
and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the
35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential
institution with a growing population of more than 23,400 students from 142 countries.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers close to 200 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.