July 21, 2012

Title, ties are in Ingle’s favor

Editor’s note: This is the fourth of four features on the finalists for the men's head basketball position at Dalton State College.

One finalist already has a relationship with Dalton, and Tony Ingle believes that gives him a head start.

The Whitfield County native is one of the four finalists named Tuesday for the Dalton State College men’s basketball head coaching position. DSC Athletic Director Derek Waugh said on-campus interviews with the four started this week and will conclude early next week. In addition to Ingle, the finalists are former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach Henry Dickerson; former Georgia Southern assistant coach Carl Nash; former Winthrop head coach Randy Peele.

Ingle, the former Kennesaw State University head coach believes his ties to the area — he grew up here, graduated from North Whitfield High and played for the Roadrunners basketball team when the school was Dalton Junior College — give him an advantage. Dalton residents and Roadrunners fans “need to be rallied.”

“I think we need to get everyone together and on the same page,” he said Wednesday in a phone interview. “I’ve seen it in the past, but I’m not here to talk about the past.”

Ingle’s track record includes an NCAA Division II National Championship at KSU in 2004. He was the Southeast Whitfield 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 University of Alabama-Huntsville, Gordon Junior College and Cherokee High. Ingle feels his coaching road fits in with building DSC hoops up to where it was 30 years ago before it was shut down.

“That’s all I’ve done my whole life,” he said. “I’ve always gone in with programs and they were either down or nonexistent except when I was an assistant with BYU.

“Yeah, you can question some of my decisions, but in my opinion, you can’t question my work ethic, enthusiasm and if I care.”

Some question marks stem from the end of his tenure at Kennesaw State.

After winning the national title, athletics made a jump to Division I with Ingle still on board as the men’s head coach. However, he was terminated 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. According to the newspaper, 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)” one year after being penalized and losing two scholarships. The APR’s formula tracks a student’s academic progress over a four-year period, the newspaper stated. 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 2008-09 and 843 (2007-08).

However, Ingle disputes his specific program as academically flawed, but rather believes the entire athletic program at KSU was riddled with “infrastructure” issues once the school went Division I.

“No. 1, to say that it’s academic related is absolutely ludicrous,” he said. “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.”

Ingle, 60, admits he did roll the dice with some kids, and it backfired with classroom performance.

“I took a chance on recruits, but there was no infrastructure in place to handle them,” he said. “What do you look for in a recruit? Do they have good character, can they play basketball and do they have the academics? And you can flip that around in any order. ... I gave these kids an opportunity, and they made the NCAA requirements barely.”

However, he feels there were “lessons learned” from the experience, allowing him to be a better coach and leader. Now he wants the chance to start fresh and become a hometown hero.

“That’s one of the reasons I’m applying for the job,” he said. “I have family, friends and people there. Dalton is my hometown. I’m a Daltonian. I taught at Northwest Whitfield High School, taught at Southeast Whitfield High School, played at Dalton Junior College.

“We need something positive. If I’m the guy people need to hold the flashlight on, let’s give them something.”

Text Only
  • After Deadline episode 21 (free)

    This week on “After Deadline,” The Daily Citizen sports writers Devin Golden and Chris Whitfield discuss the Northwest Whitfield High School baseball team’s prospects in the state playoffs now that the Bruins have clinched the Sub-region 7B-4A title and will compete next week for a region championship.

    April 16, 2014

  • Region track '14 8 mlh.jpg Battling the elements

    A bitterly cold wind was disruptive enough to shake up the schedule Tuesday at the opening day of the Region 7-4A track and field meet at Dalton High School.
    But those tough conditions didn’t stop some local athletes from excelling.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Raiders clinch spot in soccer state tournament

    With the formalities of earning a GHSA Class 4A boys state soccer berth out of the way, Southeast Whitfield immediately turned its attention to a little sibling rivalry.

    April 15, 2014

  • Prep roundup: Bruins set up region semis vs. Southeast

    With a roller coaster regular season behind it, Northwest Whitfield High School’s boys soccer team is back in its comfort zone.

    April 15, 2014

  • ‘After Deadline’ turns focus on Morris soccer

    This week on “After Deadline,” The Daily Citizen sports writers Devin Golden and Chris Whitfield discuss the Northwest Whitfield High School baseball team’s prospects in the state playoffs now that the Bruins have clinched the Sub-region 7B-4A title and will compete next week for a region championship.

    April 15, 2014

  • TaylorDale.jpg Dalton's Dale a swimming All-American

    Former Dalton High School standout swimmer Taylor Dale is reaping the awards of a successful freshman season at the University of Georgia.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area prep roundup: North Murray girls golf team is region runner-up

    North Murray High School’s girls golf team is headed to sectionals on the strength of a runner-up finish at Monday’s Region 5-3A tournament.

    April 15, 2014

  • DSC tennis drops two on road

    Dalton State College was swept in men’s and women’s tennis matches Sunday at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn.

    April 14, 2014

  • Devin Golden: Area aims for multiple tennis titles in tourneys

    Afew local high school tennis teams have had successful regular seasons and they aim for bigger achievements this week in the region tournaments.
    Murray County’s girls are right there near the front of the Region 7-2A pack.

    April 13, 2014

  • Middle school roundup: Eastbrook earns soccer sweep of New Hope

    Eastbrook’s boys team earned a 2-0 win Thursday against New Hope at the Kodiaks’ field.

    April 13, 2014

AP Video