BUCKHANNON - West Virginia Wesleyan unveiled their new head men's basketball coach Tuesday afternoon, as Patrick Beilein was formally introduced as the leader of the Bobcats. The event also included the official passing of the guard with the athletic department leadership, as Randy Tenney was introduced as the new Athletic Director. It was Ken Tyler's last public function as AD.
Beilein not only brings local history and a coaching pedigree to the Wesleyan sidelines, but also the enthusiasm that comes with a 29-year old embracing his first job as head coach. With the Bobcats coming off a 22-9 season in which they advanced into the second round of the NCAA Division II tourney. Beilein hopes to continue the school's basketball and athletic tradition.
"I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity to coach at a school like Wesleyan," Beilein said. "I want to put a team on the court here that not only plays hard, but is a group that the school and community can be proud of. It is important to me that we not only succeed in basketball, but that we also have guys who are good students, good citizens, and involved in the community."
Photo courtesy of West Virginia Wesleyan
Former WVU?player Patrick Beilein, left, was officially introduced as the new Wesleyan basketball coach on Tuesday. Beilein poses with his father, John, for a photo after Tuesday’s press conference.
Beilein fielded questions ranging from his recruiting plans to what kind of offense he plans to employ. Throughout the press conference, references were made to his father, the legendary Coach John Beilein.
As his dad enters his sixth year at the helm of Michigan, he will always be remembered for his glorious five years in Morgantown where led the Mountaineers to both an Elite Eight and a Sweet Sixteen appearance. Patrick Beilein was a key cog scoring over 1,000 career points.
In one of the most influential graduating classes ever, the younger Beilein closed his career with fellow West Virginia University stars such as Mike Gansey, Kevin Pittsnogle, J.D. Collins, and Joe Herber.
"A lot of what I plan to do as a coach is a lot of what my dad has taught me over the years. We will run the two guard offense and spread the floor... you are going to see a team that puts up a lot of threes," Beilein said. "I think we will also run some of the 1-3-1 defense that many of you are familiar with seeing from my dad's team's at WVU."
Perhaps more impressive to the many Wesleyan faculty and staff that were in attendance, was Beilein's affirmation to recruiting good kids. Beyond the X's and O's, there was always an element of respect for the teams Beilein played on at WVU.
"There is so much more than basketball when it comes to teaching," Beilein said. "I think what all I learned from my dad. A lot of things happen now and I am like 'dad was right."
John Beilein has a total of 642 career wins. Patrick has a tall mountain to climb to match that total, but is coming in well prepared. After serving as an assistant at both Michigan and Dartmouth, he comes to WVWC from the post of Director of Basketball Operations at Bradley University.
"We are very excited to have Pat as a part of our staff," Tenney said. "He is well versed on how to develop and run a college basketball program. He has a lot of basketball knowledge and has a calmness and confidence about him that I feel makes him a good fit for our institution."
Before the Beilein introduction, Wesleyan President Pam Balch and Sports Information Director Philip Fetty spoke on the new direction of the Athletic Department. Tyler is departing to take over as Athletic Director at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Tyler as he played his basketball collegiately at the College of William and Mary.
"I am excited for this opportunity, but I enjoyed my time at Wesleyan," Tyler said. "I will always have a little black and orange blood in me."
Tyler's four years at the helm of the Athletic Department included a clean sweep of the WVIAC Commissioner's Cup for overall athletic excellence. Under Tyler's watch, the Bobcats posted a total of 24 league championships and five programs; softball, both men's and women's basketball, men's tennis, and men's soccer all advanced further than they ever had since Wesleyan and the WVIAC joined the NCAA Division II in 1995.
Tenney takes over next week, and also brings with him a long career of athletic and coaching success. An outstanding player for the Bobcats in the mid-70's, he remains the Wesleyan all-time leader in stolen bases. He has been the head coach of the Wesleyan baseball team since 1987, and the school's all-time leader in career wins with an overall record of 664-402-7.
"I am excited for the opportunity to serve Wesleyan in this capacity," Tenney said. "I want to move forward with the department, both in terms of performance and also facilities. I feel that it is important that our department has a strong relationship with all parts of the institution...faculty, admissions, financial aideveryone."