Meet KSU's New Basketball Coach
To watch today's press conference, click here. Click here for a photo gallery from today's…
Georgia (Apr 26, 2011) —
To watch today's press conference, click here.
Click here for a photo gallery from today's press conference.
Click here for Lewis Preston's bio.
Click here for facts about Lewis Preston.
KENNESAW, Ga. (April 26, 2011) – In front of a large crowd on the floor of the KSU Convocation Center on Tuesday morning, Kennesaw State Athletic Director Vaughn Williams formally introduced Lewis Preston, the fourth head men’s basketball coach in program history.
Flanked on the podium by Williams, KSU President Dr. Daniel Papp and Senior Associate Athletic Director Scott Whitlock, Preston expressed his excitement of getting the opportunity to be a head coach for the first time in his career. He comes to Kennesaw after having been an assistant most recently at Penn State, and prior to that at Florida, Notre Dame and Coastal Carolina.
“Not many people have the opportunity to do what they truly love for a living, especially for as long as I have,” said Preston, who was a standout player at Virginia Military Institute prior to embarking on his coaching career. “This is not a job to me, this is an avocation. I enjoy the hard work that we will need to put in every day here, and I’m confident that we can reach our goal of winning championships.”
Preston has been accustomed to success throughout his career as an assistant coach, having been part of staffs that have won NCAA and NIT championships, at Florida and Penn State respectively, and has coached in a total of five NCAA Tournaments. He made it clear to those in attendance that there is no question that similar triumphs can be obtained at Kennesaw State. With the current Owls roster in attendance, he spoke directly to them as well as the crowd, expressing his belief that with hard work comes success, but that there are no shortcuts.
“I want to make sure we all realize that we will all work very, very, hard as a team to get to where we want to go,” said Preston, who was accompanied at the press conference by his wife, Angela, with who he has two daughters. “All of our players will have to understand that we are on a journey, and that there will be some difficult days and some bumps in the road, but when we’re cutting down nets, we will know why we worked as hard we did.”
The hiring of Coach Preston was the culmination of a nationwide search that encompassed several weeks, and was conducted by a search committee headed by Senior Associate Athletic Director Scott Whitlock. The opening attracted many qualified candidates, but in the end, said Williams, the choice was clear.
“After the comprehensive search that our committee conducted, Coach Preston was a choice that everyone is excited about,” Williams said. “We’re very pleased that he has decided to take this on the opportunity and become a part of the Kennesaw State family.”
As someone who is new to the area, Preston understands that it will be extremely important to focus recruiting efforts in the Atlanta area, one of the top areas in the country for high school basketball talent.
“This area is a real hotbed for talent, and it will be important for myself and my staff to understand that and take advantage of that,” said Preston, who hails from Boones Mill, Va. “Beyond that, it will also be extremely important to set our sights all across the south, into the carolinas and beyond. This is a great place to be when it comes to building a program.”
Preston knows a thing or two about coaching top talent, as he coached four All-Americans in Florida’s Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Taurean Green and Corey Brewer, four of the nine future NBA players he has coached during his career. He has coached a total of 19 all-conference selections during his four stops along his journey to Kennesaw.
Also significant, he coached Lee Humphrey, who was not only an essential part of Florida’s national championship in 2007, but was also an Academic All-American honoree that season. For Preston, the academic performance of his student athletes will be of the utmost importance.
“Starting today, I will hold very high expectations for our student-athletes in how they perform in the classroom. They will be expected to take academics very seriously, and they will be held accountable for their performance,” he said.
Coach Preston steps in for Tony Ingle, who was at the helm of the Owls program for 11 seasons.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-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 92 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, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.