MURFREESBORO – Chowan University unveiled its new head
men's basketball coach on Wednesday at a press conference held on
campus. Brett Vincent will serve as the Hawks new head coach and
will lead the program effectively immediately. Vincent comes to
Chowan with an extensive NCAA DII coaching and playing NCAA DI
playing background. Vincent will serve as the program's fourth head
coach in four-year school history (1993).
“Our men's basketball program has an illustrious past dating back to its junior college days,” stated Dr. Chris White, Chowan University's President. “As a NCAA DII program we are finding our way and we are on the cusp of doing some really great things. We hope to compete in the CIAA successfully under our new coach, Brett Vincent.”
Chowan University's Director of Athletics, Dennis Helsel, formally welcomed Vincent to the Chowan family. “I am pleased with today's announcement and we welcome Brett and his family to the extended Chowan family. He met the criteria of being an NCAA DII head coach for at least five years, he's a proven winner, and can graduate his student-athletes.”
Vincent, a native of Shinnston, West Virginia, comes to Chowan after spending eight seasons with the Fairmont State University men's basketball program. He served six seasons as an assistant coach, two as the associate head coach, and spent the 2011-2012 season as the interim head coach. He led the Fighting Falcons to an 8-19 record this past season as the interim head coach.
“We were ready to make a change and Chowan is a good community with good people,” Vincent said speaking of his family. “I am glad to be here and have the opportunity to play in the CIAA. It's a great league and very competitive”
The media in attendance at Wednesday's press conference peppered Vincent with questions regarding his recruiting and coaching philosophies.
“First and foremost we want to recruit good people. Then good student-athletes. Then the rest will fall into place,” said Vincent. “We want to develop winners on and off the court and in life.”
“As far as the style of play, I will take a look at the players in the program and see what kind of system we will run that will make us the most competitive against our schedule. But I will tell you that the team will be fundamentally sound on both ends of the court and it will be an exciting style of play,” continued Vincent.
During the 2010-2011 season as an associate head coach, Vincent helped the Falcons to a winning season as the Falcons posted a 17-10 record. He helped in the development of then-guards Isaac Thornton, a first team All-WVIAC pick and Steve Custis, a 1,000-point career scorer.
During the 2008-2009 season, Vincent helped the Falcons earn an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament as FSU posted a 22-8 record, the first 20 win season the Fighting Falcons. He also helped grow Custis into a first team All-WVIAC pick and then-freshman guard Thornton into the WVIAC Freshman of the Year.
In 2008-09 he helped the Falcons to its first 20 win season since 2001 and coached All-American guard Thad McFadden and WVIAC All-Freshman pick Custis. Four seasons ago, the Falcons posted a 19-10 record and Vincent was instrumental in the guidance of the prolific back court of two-time All-WVIAC second team pick Ronnie Means and first team all-conference selection Thad McFadden. Means set school records for assists while McFadden made more threes than anyone in school history in just two seasons.
Prior to his eight-year stint at Fairmont State he spent three seasons as head coach at Lewis County High School. The team's total wins under Vincent were a 30-win improvement over the three seasons prior to his arrival at Lewis County. In 2003, he led Lewis County to the section championship and an appearance in the regional final. Lewis County posted its first winning season in 17 years and received its first top-10 state ranking in 19 years that season. The Minutemen also picked up postseason wins in each of his three seasons.
Prior to his stint at Lewis County High School, Vincent complied a 92-49 record as the head basketball coach at Alderson-Broaddus from 1996-2001. He took over in 1996 at the age of 28, and as one of the youngest head coaches in the NCAA, promptly led A-B to 20 wins in three of his five seasons. The Battlers led the WVIAC in points per game in 1998, and were fifth in the country in defensive field goal percentage in 2000. His teams advanced to the WVIAC tournament semifinals twice and to the championship game once.
Vincent played college basketball at three Division I schools: West Virginia University, Robert Morris and Marshall University, and was a starter at all three schools. As a freshman at WVU, the Mountaineers advanced to the NCAA Tournament. As a sophomore, West Virginia was 8-1 with him starting at point guard and he was named to the All-East Academic team as the Mountaineers advanced to the NIT. Vincent then moved on to Robert Morris where he spent two seasons with the Colonials, the first of which he sat out due to transfer rules. As a junior, Vincent helped lead RMU to its second straight Northeast Conference title and NCAA Tournament where the Colonials took on Kansas. As a senior at Marshall, he led the team in assists and still is the school's leader in career 3-point field goal percentage (43 percent).
He received his bachelor's degree in sports management in 1991 from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. He received his master's degree in education from Salem-Teikyo University in 2000.
Vincent graduated from South Harrison High School where he led the state and was ranked fourth nationally averaging 35.9 points per game as a senior. He led the Hawks to an undefeated regular season in 1986, the only one in West Virginia. He was named the Morgantown Touchdown Club West Virginia Player of the Year in the 1986 season, and was a three-time all-state selection and captained the Class AA All-State team as a senior.
He is married to the former Andrea Gum. The two have one son, Cole.