Coach Jim Boone
After spending the last six seasons at the helm of the Tusculum College men’s basketball program, Pioneer head coach Jim Boone will be stepping down to accept a similar position at West Virginia Wesleyan College (NCAA Division II) in Buckhannon, W.Va. Boone replaces Jeff Price, who recently resigned to take the position of associate head coach at NCAA Division I South Alabama.
While in Greeneville, Boone’s teams posted an 88-86 record, including the program’s first 20-win campaign as a Division II member, which came in the 2008-09 season.
Boone, a native of Winfield, W.Va., has over quarter of a century of collegiate coaching experience, including the last 26 years as a head coach. He has recorded 409 victories, including 316 wins in his 16 years at the NCAA Division II level. His 409 wins are currently ranked 28th among NCAA II active coaches. In his 16 seasons at the NCAA II level, his teams are averaging nearly 20 wins per year.
“I would like to thank Coach Boone for all he has done for Tusculum College these last six years,” said Tusculum director of athletics Frankie DeBusk. “Coach Boone has left the program in very good shape and I’m very excited where we are in regards to Pioneer basketball. I want to wish Jim and Stephanie all the best in the future and we will miss them very much.”
DeBusk indicated that a search for Boone’s replacement is currently underway. “We are looking for the right person for this position. Tusculum basketball has a very rich and storied tradition and it is very important that we continue the progress that has been made.”
During the 2008-09 season, he guided the Pioneers to a 20-11 record, the program’s first 20-win season in 16 years. Tusculum posted a 10-6 worksheet in the South Atlantic Conference to finish second in the league race. Tusculum made a strong late season run, posting an eight-game winning streak, while advancing to the championship game of the SAC Tournament. Tusculum’s late-season surge earned the program its second trip to the NCAA II Tournament and first at-large berth to the “Big Dance.” The Pioneers nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament as Tusculum dropped a 62-60 decision to top-seeded and fourth-ranked Augusta State University. TC fought back from a 17-point, second half deficit, coming up a bucket shy of completing the rally.
The following season, Tusculum posted a 16-12 record, including 10-6 in SAC play to finish as league runner-up for a second straight season.
Over the past two years, Tusculum has posted a 28-22 league record, the second-best conference mark of the SAC’s member institutions.
This past season, Tusculum went 12-18 overall, but 8-10 in league play to tie for fourth-place in the conference. The Poineers pulled out a triple-overtime victory over Newberry College in the opening round of the SAC Tournament, before falling top-seed and eventual tournament champion Lincoln Memorial University in the SAC Tournament semifinal.
“It is with very mixed emotions that I have accepted the coaching position at West Virginia Wesleyan College,” said Boone. “I am very excited to be going home to West Virginia, where Stephanie and I will be much closer to both our families. I am also excited to have the opportunity to lead a program such as Wesleyan that has such a rich and storied tradition of success in its men’s basketball program.”
“This has been a very difficult decision for the entire Boone family, due in large part to the greatest people we have ever been associated with, the people of Tusculum College,” Boone added. “We will dearly miss our Pioneer family.”
Boone mentored one of the best players in school history in guard Kyle Moore. Moore scored over 1,800 points in his three seasons in a Pioneer uniform, while becoming the most prolific three-point shooter in South Atlantic Conference history. Moore was named the SAC Player of the Year twice (2009, 2001) and was a two-time All-America selection. He was also named to the Daktronics and NABC All-Southeast Region squads in his last two Tusculum campaigns.
Over the last three seasons, the Pioneers led the South Atlantic Conference in scoring defense (63.4 ppg – 5,577 pts. in 88 games) and free throw percentage (.762, 1442-1892) each season.
In his first year in Greeneville, Boone guided the Pioneers to a 14-15 record, including the program’s third trip to the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament semifinal in four years.
While at Tusculum, Boone has mentored eight All-South Atlantic Conference selections, including Moore (three times). Douglas Tshomba, Chris Poore, Jordan Lear, Ryan Troutman and Rob Troutman. Poore was also the recipient of the prestigious SAC Scholar Athlete for Men’s Basketball Award in 2006-07.
His 228-71 record at the California University of Pennsylvania gives Boone a .763 winning percentage, which at the time was the second best success rate of active Division II coaches.
In his 10 seasons at California, Boone led the Vulcans to seven postseason appearances. California advanced to six NCAA Tournaments, posting an impressive 12-4 record, including a pair of NCAA Final Four appearances.
His 1992 team went 31-2 and was the No. 1 ranked team in the final NCAA II poll. That squad captured the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship and moved onto the first of two NCAA Final Fours.
Boone spent five seasons as the head coach at NCAA Division I Eastern Michigan University where he compiled a 48-96 mark. His squads continued to make progress each year during his tenure, including the Eagles 14-14 mark in 2002-03 an eight-win improvement from the season before.
Prior to coaching at EMU, he served four years as the head coach at Robert Morris University. He built the Colonials into a winner following seasons of 4-23 and 8-19, as he guided Robert Morris to a 15-12 mark in 1998-99 and 18-12 in 1999-00. That 2000 squad advanced to the NEC Championship Game and came up one step shy of advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
During his career, his teams have recorded 17 or more wins on 13 occasions, including six conference championships, four tournament titles and seven post season appearances.
From 1990-96, his California teams recorded over 20 victories for six consecutive years tallying an impressive 150-33 mark during that span. His 94-24 league record in the PSAC is still the best of any coach in that conference’s history.
He has been named PSAC Coach of the Year on three occasions (1988, 1992, 1996) and NCAA Region Coach Year twice (1992, 1996).
In 2005, Boone was inducted to the California University of Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Boone played his collegiate basketball at West Virginia State College where he was a four-year letterman. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from WVSC in 1981 and followed that with a MBA from the University of Kentucky in 1982 with a concentration in Marketing.
He began his coaching career at his alma mater where he served as the head assistant coach from 1982-85. Boone spent one season as the head assistant coach at Charleston Southern University as the Buccaneers won the 1986 Big South Conference Championship.
He is married to the former Stephanie VanVranken and they are the parents of two sons, Jimmy and Joey. Jimmy serves as a student assistant on the Pioneer coaching staff following a four-year playing career at Tusculum.
Tusculum College, located in Greeneville, Tenn., is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, USA and is a NCAA Division II member of the South Atlantic Conference which is comprised of 10 colleges and universities in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.