CLEVELAND, Ohio - Dennis Felton was officially introduced as the 15th head coach in Cleveland State men's basketball history on Monday afternoon in the CSU Student Center Ballroom.
Felton spent the last three seasons as the assistant head coach at Tulsa, helping the program to 59 wins and a pair of postseason berths, including a spot in the 2015 NCAA tournament.
At Georgia from 2003-09, Felton led the program to the 2008 SEC tournament title and a berth in the NCAA tournament. As the head coach at Western Kentucky from 1998-03, he led the squad to six straight conference championships and three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances (2001-03), while also having a 100-percent graduation rate.
Prior to joining Tulsa, Felton spent four years in the National Basketball Association, including serving as director of pro player personnel for the San Antonio Spurs from 2010 to 2013.
Dennis Felton was introduced as the 15th head coach in CSU men's basketball history on Monday.
QUOTES FROM PRESS CONFERENCE
Dennis Felton (CSU Men's Basketball Head Coach)
"I'm very excited about the vision Mike (Thomas) has for CSU athletics. I view Cleveland State to be an outstanding University that is constantly growing. I think these are really, really exciting times at Cleveland State. Our stature is just growing on the national landscape. It's a great University and a great city.
"I see basketball coaching as just one small part of what I do in my role as a basketball coach. At the college level, you're getting young men who are 17-22 years old, which are really the most important years of their life in terms of the impact it will have on the rest of their lives."
"Get used to seeing my face. I'm going to be out and about and engaging and connecting as much as a 24-hour day permits. I really want to connect and have my family became a big part of this community."
"I'm a far better coach now than I was the last time I was on the sidelines at the University of Georgia. These last eight years have been tremendous to me. There's a reason why I worked in the NBA. There's a reason I worked with the Spurs. I wanted to grow, I wanted to learn."
"We want to play fast and keep pressure on the opponent. We're going to look for opportunities to score in the first six seconds and if we can't score in transition, we're going to be a team that plays with a lot of space and a lot of movement where every player has the space to attack the rim, attack the paint off the dribble, create [defensive] rotations, create longer [defensive] closeouts. We'll be a team that shares everything, especially the ball."
Mike Thomas (CSU Director of Athletics)
"The more folks in the basketball world we talked to about Dennis Felton [during the search process], the more there was to like. He is an individual with integrity, very high character and an individual who is a better person than a basketball coach, which is saying a lot because he's a tremendous basketball coach."
"He is an individual who has served as the face of a program at the highest level and will be a first-rate and first-class ambassador for this University and for this community. He's a winner, someone that has won at all levels and has a history of being successful regardless of the odds. He has a very high basketball IQ - I heard that a lot from people - and is a great teacher of the game."
Dr. Ronald Berkman (CSU President)
"The mark of a great coach is also sometimes the same as the mark of a great teacher, and all great coaches are fundamentally great teachers. What is that one attribute of a great teacher? The understanding that learning is a life-long experience. That what I taught five years ago may not be what I need to teach today. And how do I incorporate what is out there and what I've learned into what I'm doing now. So the fact that [Coach Felton] came up here today and said that these last eight years have been an incredible growing experience for him speaks to that most important attribute—the ability to listen, the ability to evaluate, the ability to learn and then the ability to turn all of that into a game plan and a strategy. I think that in Coach Felton we really have an individual who is capable of doing that."