Local News

August 2, 2012

Source: It’s Ingle

— It appears Tony Ingle will get his chance to be the hometown hero.

The Dalton native will be announced today as the new Dalton State College men’s basketball head coach, according to a source with direct knowledge of the hiring search. The Daily Citizen first reported the news Wednesday afternoon on its website, www.daltonnow.com.

The four finalists who visited the campus for in-person interviews were Ingle, a North Whitfield High School graduate and former Kennesaw State University head coach; former University of Tennessee-Chattanooga head coach Henry Dickerson; former Georgia Southern University assistant coach Carl Nash; and former Winthrop University head coach Randy Peele.

DSC officials will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. today introducing the coach in the James E. Brown Center, room 105. The public is invited.

The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said there is “a press release being written for Tony Ingle.” Athletics director Derek Waugh declined to comment.

Ingle, 60, declined to give a concrete “yes” or “no” answer when asked if he is the new coach. However, he did leave a hint.

“I’m excited but there’s not a whole lot I can comment on right now,” Ingle said. “All I can say is there is a press conference tomorrow.”

Former Dalton Junior College coach Melvyn Ottinger coached Ingle when he played for the Roadrunners in the 1970s.

“With all of his local ties here, he has an interested fan base simply because there were a lot of people who went to the Kennesaw State games,” Ottinger said. “He’s got family here in town. Tony was part of building the program years ago. He knows what it takes.”

Ottinger said everyone in the community he has talked to about the search asks about Ingle’s chances.

“I don’t know of any person that has talked to me about this after the four names were released that didn’t ask me, ‘Do you think Tony has a good shot?’” Ottinger said. “Then everyone says, ‘Well I hope he gets it.’”

Ottinger said he and many others will be on hand to see if Ingle is in fact the chosen one.

“I tell you I’d have to be sick or something to miss this press conference,” Ottinger said. “I’ve been waiting 34 years for this.”

Ingle’s track record includes an NCAA Division II National Championship at Kennesaw State in 2004. He was the Southeast Whitfield High School head coach from 1977 to 1978 and a Brigham Young University assistant coach in the 1990s, including a stint as interim head coach in 1997. He has been head coach at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, Gordon Junior College and Cherokee High School.

After winning the national title, Kennesaw State athletics made a jump to Division I with Ingle still on board as the men’s head coach. However, he was fired at the end of the 2011 season after more than a decade leading the program due to the program’s academic issues, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The newspaper reported the NCAA penalized the program in 2010 with the loss of a scholarship “for failing to meet the minimum score in the Academic Progress Rate (APR).” The program also lost two scholarships in 2009.

The APR’s formula tracks a student’s academic progress over a four-year period. A perfect score is a 1,000 and the NCAA requires at least a 925 for a program. According to the AJC, the Owls posted scores of 883 in 2008-2009 and 843 in 2007-2008.

In a previous interview with The Daily Citizen, Ingle gave his side of the story.

“No. 1, to say that it’s academic related is absolutely ludicrous,” he said last month. “I’ve got five children, four sons all graduated from college and all with a 3.0 GPA or better. One has a master’s from the University of Georgia and two are going for master’s right now. I’ve stressed academics in my own home. Fifty-five from Kennesaw State made the conference All-Academic team, and I had 20 of my players do it at BYU.

“We were not ready to go Division I. ... APR is based on retention. If you raise academic standards or don’t have correct academic policies in, then the kids couldn’t be retained.”

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