Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Miami basketball preview

Coles' passion still burns

By Ian Duthie
Enquirer contributor

Miami recruiting
Date Opponent Time
Thurs. 8 Branch West (exh) 7 p.m.
Sat. 17 at UNC Wilmington 7 p.m.
Mon. 19 George Mason 7 p.m.
Wed. 28 Xavier 7 p.m.
Sat. 1 Wright State 3 p.m.
Mon. 3 at Evansville 7 p.m.
Sat. 8 Notre Dame 3 p.m.
Sun. 16 at Southern Cal TBA
Thurs. 20 vs. Boston College-& 5 p.m.
Fri. 21 vs. Georgia or Ark. St.-& TBA
Sat. 22 vs. Iona, H.Cross,or Hawaii-&TBA
Sat. 29 at Dayton 8 p.m.
Wed. 2 at Wstern Michigan 7 p.m.
Sat. 5 at Central Mich 3:30 p.m.
Wed. 9 Marshall 7 p.m.
Sat. 12 Akron 3 p.m.
Wed. 16 Eastern Michigan 7 p.m.
Sat. 19 at Ohio TBA
Tues. 22 at Northern Illinois 8 p.m.
Sat. 26 Ball State 3 p.m.
Sat. 2 at Bowling Green 1 p.m.
Wed. 6 at Buffalo 7 p.m.
Sat. 9 Toledo 4:30 p.m.
Mon. 11 Ohio 7 p.m.
Thurs. 14 at Marshall TBA
Sat. 16 at Kent State 7 p.m.
Wed. 20 Bowling Green 7 p.m.
Sat. 23 at Ball State 1 p.m.
Mon. 25 Buffalo 7 p.m.
Sat. 2 Kent State 3 p.m.
Mon. 4 MAC Tourn., 1st rd. TBA
Thurs. 7 MAC quarters TBA
Fri. 8 MAC semifinals TBA
Sat. 9 MAC final 7 p.m.
Home games bold.
&-At Hawaii Rainbow Classic
        OXFORD - Ever since he was 8 years old, Miami coach Charlie Coles knew he wanted to teach. From his early days in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Coles remembers teaching kids in his neighborhood the fundamentals of basketball.

     After averaging 42.1 points as a senior, he earned a scholarship at Miami, where he became a two-time second-team All-Mid-American Conference pick. Still, he knew he was at Miami to learn how to coach while earning his bachelor's in physical education.

     ''I had some nice (coaches) who cared about me,'' Coles said. ''You want to be a part of that. If I had any doubts at all when I came to Miami about coaching, which I didn't, it strengthened my belief that this is what I want to do.''

     He credits his coach, Richard Shrider, for teaching him the essentials of coaching, but he also sought out then-Miami football coach Bo Schembechler. Coles was so enthralled with the future Michigan legend's teaching ability, Coles took Schembechler's football theory class and never missed a football practice when his own practices didn't conflict.

     ''Bo knew when to be tough and when to be funny,'' Coles said. ''I learned a lot from him about the dedication it took to be a successful coach. You knew not to skip his class.''

     After 34 years of coaching basketball in high school and college, it's easy to see Coles' unbridled passion for the game with his ever-present grin and his light-hearted laugh. His enthusiasm makes it apparent the game hasn't bypassed him and that he wants to continue coaching for years.

     ''I am like a kid; I live for the day,'' Coles, 59, said. ''If you have been playing a game all your life, coaching a game, I guess sometimes you think, boy, I don't really have to grow up. I probably have never grown up.''

     Coles is preparing for his sixth season at Miami. In his first five, he has a 94-60 record, leading Miami to the NCAA Tournament twice, including the 1998 Sweet 16. He has taken the RedHawks to a record five straight appearances in the MAC title game.

     Despite his success as a coach, Coles most treasures helping his players off the court.

     ''What Charlie does for young people is phenomenal,'' says Jermaine Henderson, Coles' former player and current Miami assistant coach. ''He gives kids direction that otherwise wouldn't. I hope he coaches forever because what he does for kids outside of basketball is a rarity.''

     In February 1998 came a frightening moment for Coles, his family and his players. While coaching his team in a conference tournament game, he collapsed on the sideline, suffering a cardiac arrest. He survived, but he was confined to a hospital bed for more than a week.

     For Coles, there was never a question of whether he would return. But in his mind, it came down to what his wife, Delores - whom he married while a senior at Miami - and his two children, Chris and Mary, thought.

     ''The vote was overwhelming that they wanted me to return to coaching,'' Coles said. ''They know I don't have much of a life without basketball.''

     Basketball better get used to this wisecracking coach with a sense of humor that never lets him get too high or too low after a game. Coles and his family have made Oxford their permanent home. He says he has no desire to leave his alma mater until he's told to go (his contract runs through 2004). His wife grew up in Oxford, and he feels fortunate to have his two children close. Both have settled their families in Oxford.


Sports Stories
Tipoff 2001
U-Cincinnati basketball preview
Xavier basketball preview
Dayton basketball preview
Kentucky basketball preview
- Miami basketball preview
Ohio State basketball preview
C-USA conference preview
Atlantic 10 conference preview
Mid-American conference preview
Southeastern Conference preview
Buckeyes can't look past Illini
Vols using Memphis as lesson
Blue Jackets finally win one on home ice
College basketball roundup
NBA Roundup

RADEL: Take the battle to Bengals
Bengals Q&A with Mark Curnutte
Sidelines could be used to patch field
Dugans is making his role special
Bengals 2002 preseason schedule announced
Cowher apologizes for run-in with Browns' Fuller
NFL notebook
New plan leaves Rockets wide open
Big games worth all the hassle
Elder, St. X each receive 15,000 tickets
UC recruit near signing
SULLIVAN: Contraction - A reality show worth watching
'Unit' adds 4th Cy Young
Baseball notebook