Former Miami U. basketball coach Charlie Coles dies

Charlie Coles
Charlie Coles

OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - Miami University has announced that former men's basketball coach Charlie Coles has died. He was 71.

Coles was the programs's all-time wins leader.

MiamiOH Basketball (@miamibasketball) tweeted Friday, "It is with a heavy heart we inform you that former coach Charlie Coles, the program's all-time wins leader, has passed away."

Coles retired in March of 2012 after nearly 50 years as a basketball coach. He had a career record of 355-308 over 22 seasons at Miami and Central Michigan.

"Very sad day for Miami with the passing of Charlie Coles this morning," Miami President David Hodge tweeted.

Coles earned more wins than any other coach in Miami history, more MAC wins than any other coach in conference history and tied for second on the MAC's career wins list. 

The Redhawks made seven postseason appearances during Coles' coaching tenure. Eight players earned a combined nine First-Team All-MAC accolades and is the only MAC men's basketball program to have at least one first-team honoree over the last eight seasons.

Coles captured MAC Coach of the Year honors twice, earning the award in 1987 while guiding the Chippewas and again in 2005 leading the RedHawks. He also was named the District 14 Coach of the Year in 2010-11.

As a player, Coles averaged double figuring in his three seasons at Miami and was a two-time Second-Team All-MAC selection.

Coles was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Miami University Hall of Fame in 1990.

One of the greatest tributes to his legacy was earning the NABC Guardians of the Game Pillar Award for Education, presented by The Hartford at the 2011 Final Four.

A national awareness and education program led by the NABC, the goal of the Guardians of the Game program is to focus attention on the positive aspects of basketball and the role coaches play in the lives of student-athletes, in addition to the contributions coaches make to their communities. The Guardians Awards recognize NABC coaches who exemplify one of the four Guardians of the Game core values: Advocacy, Leadership, Service and Education.

Coles, a long time educator and student of the game, was nominated and selected for the Education pillar which is presented to NABC coaches who are committed to continuing education and the development of their profession in order to be better mentors, teachers, and leaders. The Education award goes to a coach dedicated to their own professional development, as well as that of their colleagues. The Education statuette rewards the coach that best mentors, teaches, and perpetuates the doctrine of the game.

Thought to be the only Division I coach who continued to teach a class during his tenure, Coles annually conducted a basketball coaching theory class at Miami University. In addition to continually trying to better himself through attending other collegiate practices and watching hours of film in the off-season to study what other successful programs were doing on the court, Coles further embodied the Education pillar with his teaching both on and off the court.

Coles is survived by his wife, Delores, along with his son Chris (wife Robin), daughter Mary Bennett (husband Craig) and four grandchildren: Tyson, Taya and C.J. Coles and Jazz Bennett.

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