ELKINS, WV -- Former Assistant Men's Basketball Chris Cottrell has been tabbed as the newest Head Men's Basketball Coach at Davis & Elkins College, an NCAA Division II program located in Elkins, West Virginia.
Cottrell is set to take over the reins of the men's basketball program at Davis & Elkins as they enter their first year competing in the newly formed Great Midwest Athletic Conference. Cottrell looks to rebuild a program that finished 9-17 last season.
"I am very excited to become a part of the Davis & Elkins College family," Cottrell stated. "I am extremely thankful to President Smith and Chancellor Mihaylo for the good faith and opportunity they are affording me. I am looking forward to working closely with Athletic Director Palmer and building the men's basketball program for the future.
"I believe that Davis & Elkins College is a unique family atmosphere," Cottrell continued. "Wherever you go, people make places and situations special. I truly believe Davis & Elkins College is a special place. I am excited to begin promoting the vision and future of Senator Basketball."
Over the past five seasons, Chris Cottrell has been a part of one of the most resurgent programs at the Division-II level, as the Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters have rolled off four-consecutive 20-win seasons. With Cottrell on staff as an assistant coach throughout the entire ride, the Railsplitters tallied a 112-38 win-loss record. Prior to that five-year stretch, the Railsplitters had posted five-straight losing seasons with only 39 wins to 99 losses.
During his time with LMU, the Railsplitters won two South Atlantic Conference regular-season championships (2010-11, 2012-13) and one SAC tournament championship (2011), while making three-straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Lincoln Memorial has also rolled off a current streak of 42-straight weeks ranked in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll. With Cottrell's assistance in 2010-11, the Railsplitters set the South Atlantic Conference and school record for overall wins (27), single-season winning percentage (90%), consecutive wins (22) and consecutive conference wins (14).
"That being said, I feel as though I am leaving a tremendous family at Lincoln Memorial University," Cottrell said. "I would like to express my most sincere thanks to President Dawson, Roger Vannoy, Dr. DeBusk and Dr. Burchett for their support and willingness to hire me originally. Most importantly, I would like to thank our players over the last five seasons. Without them, none of the success we had would have been possible. And finally, I would like to thank Coach Schertz and his family, who have been like a second family to me. In the last ten years, aside from my immediate family, no one has had a more profound impact on my personal development and career than Josh. I'll miss him, his family, and their support."
With Cottrell acting as the top assistant last season, the 'Splitters notched a 25-6 overall mark that led to a SAC regular-season title and the program's third-straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.
"For me, it is really bittersweet," stated Lincoln Memorial University head coach Josh Schertz. "I hate to see Chris go because he is so good at what he does and has been a big part of our success here at LMU."
Prior to his arrival on campus in 2008, Chris Cottrell worked with Schertz at High Point University, where he got his start for his coaching career by serving as the Head Student Assistant Coach. In 2007, Cottrell continued to move up the ranks, as he was appointed the first ever Men's Basketball Graduate Assistant Coach at High Point.
At High Point, Cottrell was a member of a coaching staff that engineered one of the greatest turnarounds in NCAA history, as the Panthers notched a Division-I program record with 22 wins in a single season, which still stands following the 2012-13 season.
"He very much deserves this opportunity," Schertz continued. "He is an excellent coach who will bring tremendous personality, energy and toughness to Davis & Elkins."
"I am thrilled to begin this new chapter of my coaching career and I do believe the best part of our Senator basketball program will be the commitment to get better everyday," said Cottrell. "We will build a culture and a basketball family that Davis & Elkins College and the community of Elkins, West Virginia will embrace and be proud to call their own."
In addition, Chris Cottrell has selected Cam Carden, former standout with the Railsplitters, as his assistant coach at Davis & Elkins.
A native of Clearwater, Florida, Carden was one of the key members of the Railsplitters' resurgence over the past four seasons, leaving the program as one of the all-time winningest players in school history. During his four-year stead, Carden appeared in 116 games, starting 78 of them. He ranks second all-time in school history for three-point field goals (241), third in minutes (3,173), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.404), fifth in games played, and 11th in assists (274).
All told, Carden finished his career with 1,044 points (23rd all-time in school history), 117 steals (15th all-time), 315 rebounds and 345 field goals. He averaged 27.4 minutes per game over his four-year career. The Railsplitters amassed 98 wins with only 24 losses over that span, two SAC regular-season titles and one SAC tournament championship. The Railsplitters were present in the national rankings for nearly three-fourths of Carden's career, as they broke into the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll for the first time in program history in December of 2010 and have not left since that time.
"It's a great opportunity for Cam at age 23 to get a full time assistant coaching job," Josh Schertz stated. "To get out and recruit while handling all of the other responsibilities that come along with coaching at this level will certainly put him ahead of the curve. We'll all miss him, but for his personal development, this is something he absolutely needs to do."
Chris Cottrell and Cam Carden will begin their duties immediately at Davis & Elkins College, where Cottrell looks to lead the Senators to national prominence.
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