Johnson City, Tenn. (Feb. 25, 2002) - East Tennessee State's men's basketball team took two of the three Southern Conference basketball awards announced today as senior Dimeco Childress (Columbia, Tenn.) was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year and head coach Ed DeChellis was named the Coach of the Year. Childress is the first ETSU player to earn Player of the Year honors since Keith Jennings was named to the award in back-to-back seasons in 1989-90 and 1990-91. DeChellis becomes the first ETSU coach to win back-to-back Coach of the Year honors.
Childress has been the leader of the late season Buccaneer surge that has led to eight straight wins to close the regular season. Childress is fourth in the SoCon in scoring, averaging 17.6 points per game. In his last three home games he scored 35, 36 and 42 points, with his 42-point outburst against Western Carolina setting a new Memorial Center record. During ETSU's win streak he is averaging 22.9 points a game. Childress has scored 1,271 points in his career, eighth on ETSU's all-time scoring list.
DeChellis, in his sixth season at ETSU, has guided the Bucs to back-to-back 18-win seasons and consecutive regular season North Division titles. His Buccaneer teams have won more conference games (24) over the last two seasons than any other SoCon school. In his career at ETSU he is 85-81, 49-44 in Southern Conference games. Undefeated in February this season, the Bucs current eight-game win streak is tied for the ninth longest in the nation with Utah State and has carried the team to No. 17 in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll and among the top-100 teams in the Sagarin power rankings.