By Jared Talbot | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Flagler College Men’s basketball team took a step towards its next chapter today as new Head Coach Chad Warner was introduced in a press conference that took place in the Flagler College Solarium.
Warner was introduced by President William T. Abare Jr., as well as Athletic Director Jud Damon. Abare, who is in his final year at Flagler, had only good things to say about the new coaching hire.
“I had the pleasure of interviewing Chad and I must tell you I was extremely impressed by his coaching accomplishments, his approach to the game and his desire to win,” he said. “We are excited to begin this new chapter in Flagler College Basketball.”
Warner will replace Bo Clark, who announced on Jan. 23 his retirement after 31 years as the head coach of the Flagler Saints. Flagler Athletics launched a national search to find a new head coach. When Damon began to give his remarks, he was visibly excited about the hire.
“I am so happy to have Chad and his family here with us,” he said. “I believe Chad is not only someone who is a proven winner, but also a person who has his core values and foundational values clear. He brings those to the job every day.”
Chad Warner is coming off a season in which the Valparaiso University Crusaders won 24 games and claimed a share of the Horizon League regular season title. It was its 5th title in the last six years and the team also advanced to the NIT tournament. He is also the winningest coach in history for Shorter University in Rome, Georgia with 156 victories and a school record 34 victories during the 2011-2012 season. He was also named the NABC National Coach of the Year for the NAIA Division 1 during the year 2012. Warner has now coached seven players who have gone on to receive professional contracts for various teams around the globe.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to be named to this position,” Warner said. “It truly did inspire me to see how thorough the search was. The search was taken very seriously, which made me want to be here.”
He thanked his family for their support and perseverance throughout the interview process, as well as all the coaches and players he had around him at Valparaiso University and the colleges beforehand, even going on to thank Clark.
“I also want to thank Bo Clark for 31 years of a wonderful foundation,” Warner said. “I am not trying to replace anyone, we are only going to build off his foundation.”
He mentioned he was able to meet his new players the night before and was happy to get to know them.
“Last night I was able to meet the team for the first time it was special to meet them,” he said. “I wanted to express that coaching changes are hard. A lot of emotions are at play and that is OK.”
In the end, Warner believed the reason that made him want to come coach at Flagler was the kindness of the people he’s met.
“I was sad leaving Indiana and it was due to knowing so many good people, but I was also really excited because I knew we were walking towards good things,” Warner said. “The people here have welcomed me in with open arms and have believed in me and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. I truly am happy to be here.”