Lou Dawkins, a 20-year coaching veteran, is in his second season as an assistant coach at Cleveland State.
In his first season as an assistant coach, Dawkins was instrumental in helping the Vikings show continued improvement throughout the season, culminiating with a run to the Horizon League Championship game as the No. 8 seed.
CSU became the second highest seeded team to ever reach the Horizon League Championship game.
Dawkins joined the CSU staff after spending the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at Northern Illinois. He arrived at NIU in 2011-12 and helped guide one of the youngest teams in the country during his first two seasons, which included NIU’s first MAC tournament win since 2003.
In his third season at NIU, he helped the Huskies engineer the largest single-season win improvement in school history and the 10th largest nationally for the season, recording a 10-win improvement.
The Huskies continued to make strides with Dawkins on staff, culminating with a 21-win season in 2015-16 - the second most in program history - and a berth in the Vegas 16 tournament despite having the second youngest team in the Mid-American Conference with almost 40-percent of its scoring coming from freshmen.
The 2015-16 squad had three players earn all-league honors, the first time in 13 years that NIU had three all-league honorees. In addition, the team posted the highest team GPA on record during the 2015 fall semester.
Prior to arriving at NIU, Dawkins served as the head coach at Saginaw High (Mich.) for seven seasons, leading the team to a 149-28 record and Michigan Class A state championships in 2007 and 2008. He earned the Michigan AP Coach of the Year award both years and was the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Coach of the Year in 2007
In 2007, the team was ranked second in the nation by MaxPreps as Dawkins was named the National Coach of the Year, while the 2008 squad was ranked fourth in the USA Today Super 25.
The Trojans won the Saginaw Valley Conference championship in six of Dawkins’ seven seasons as head coach and he was named the conference coach of the year three times. Dawkins also served as the Director of Athletics at Saginaw High during his final three years as head coach.
Dawkins coached 11 players that went on to receive NCAA Division I basketball scholarships, including Michigan State’s Draymond Green, now a member of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
In June, Dawkins surprised Green at his press conference where he was presented with the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
Prior to becoming the varsity coach at Saginaw High, Dawkins was the junior varsity coach for six seasons, compiling an overall mark of 112-10.
A native of Saginaw, Mich., Dawkins played basketball at Tulsa from 1989-93, helping the Golden Hurricanes reach the Sweet 16 of the 1994 NCAA tournament, while earning second team all-conference honors and being selected as the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
He ranks fifth all-time in Tulsa history with 339 career assists and sixth all-time with 176 steals.
Dawkins received his bachelor’s degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Tulsa in 1994.
He and his wife, Latricia, have been married for 24 years and have three sons; Mario, 27, Christian, 25 and Elijah, 3, along with a daughter, Hailee, 20.
Their fourth son, Dorian, passed away eight years ago at the age of 14.