JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 22, 2003) - East Tennessee State University President Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dave Mullins announced Tuesday that Murry Bartow will be joining the Buccaneer family as head coach of the men's basketball program.
Bartow, who will become the 15th head coach in the program's 81-year history, was most recently head coach at the University of Alabama-Birmingham from 1996-2002. During that time, his team's won 103 games and made appearances in three postseason tournaments - including the NCAA Tournament in 1999.
"We are very pleased that Murry has decided to become our new men's basketball coach," Stanton said. "While we interviewed three very talented and capable coaches, it is my belief that the search committee made the right choice. We were very pleased with our team's Southern Conference Championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament last season, and we know Coach Bartow will do all he can to take our program to an even higher level."
Mullins, who sifted through over 50 resumes during the search process, said he was pleased to hire a head coach that had been successful at the highest levels of Division I basketball.
"The amount of national interest in our head coaching position has been phenomenal," Mullins said. "I'm convinced that we have found the very best person capable of leading our team at this time. Coach Bartow's experience, success and respect among the coaching fraternity convinced our committee that he can take the talent that we have - add to it with his strong recruiting contacts - and make us the premier program in the Southern Conference. I look forward to working with Coach Bartow to identify areas that need to be improved to accomplish that goal.
"One of the most important aspects of our program is continuing to add to our strong community support. I believe Coach Bartow can strengthen those ties."
Bartow will inherit a team that is certainly stocked with talent and potential. After enjoying a 2002-03 season that resulted in a 20-11 record, a Southern Conference Tournament championship, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Bucs will return all five starters and eight of their top nine players from last season.
That group included two-time All-Southern Conference selection Zakee Wadood in the post and SoCon Freshman of the Year Tim Smith at the point guard position.
"I'm very excited about this opportunity," said Bartow, who is the son of former UCLA head coach Gene Bartow. "Ed (DeChellis) did a tremendous job here in building a solid base of players and they have accomplished a great deal. There's a tremendous amount of momentum in the program right now and I simply want that to continue. East Tennessee State is a great place and I've been very impressed with Dave Mullins, Dr. Stanton, Dr. (Wayne) Andrews, and everyone I've met on the campus.
"Community is also important to me and my family, and this seemed like the right fit for me and my family. We are very happy to be here and look forward to being a part of the ETSU family."
In his time at UAB, Bartow proved to be a winner, leading his squads to a 103-83 overall record that included 48 Conference USA victories (second only to Cincinnati's Bob Huggins in that same time span). The Blazers - who enjoyed 20-win seasons twice under Bartow - also made three postseason appearances during this time, getting invitations to the NIT in 1997 and 1998, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 1999.
Even more impressive, Bartow's103 wins during this span were more than other Southern programs, including Florida State, South Florida, Southern Mississippi and Georgia Tech. And in his time with the Blazers, the team beat nationally-recognized programs such as Auburn, Florida, Marquette, Missouri, Charlotte, UNLV, Tulsa, Fresno State, Memphis and Louisville.
In 22 years as a player, assistant coach and head coach, Bartow has been to 15 post-season tournaments (10 NCAA and 5 NITs). Furthermore, his name ranks among some of the most recognizable in all of college coaching when it comes to wins in their first six seasons of play, as he's had more victories (100) than coaches such as Seth Greenberg (87), Mike Krzyzewski (90) and Dean Smith (92) in that same time span.
A 1985 graduate of UAB who earned his master's degree from Indiana University in 1987, Bartow worked as an assistant under Coach Bob Knight at Indiana from 1985-87. He spent last season on television as an analyst for ESPN and CSS, while also scouting for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bartow and his wife Tammy have three sons, Murry, Stephen and Connor.