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Opinion | Miami loses great coach, gains enduring legacy in Charlie Coles

By Editorial Board
On March 12, 2012

Charlie Coles, Miami University's men's head basketball coach for the past 16 years, announced his retirement last week. Coles had the most wins of any Miami basketball coach, but should also be remembered more for his dedication to the sport and to Miami.

After playing for Miami in the 1960s, he came back to coach in the 1990s and fans locally and nationally loved him. Even Ohio University coaches and students sent cards to Coles after his most recent hospital visit. We feel that this outpouring of support shows just how much of an impact he made on basketball regionally, as well as at Miami.

Coles has managed to make a lasting impact on Miami and on his players despite his health problems, including suffering from a cardiac arrest, when his heart stopping momentarily on the court during a game.

His team has a graduation rate of 82 percent, which is high for the sport and his salary is considerably lower than most other NCAA Division I head basketball coaches.

Throughout his career, he cared more about developing his players on and off the court than wins, losses or garnering personal benefits. Coles strengthened the basketball program and had a successful career, without any of the scandals or violations so common in today's collegiate programs.

The Miami Student editorial board believes that Coles' personality and devotion to Miami basketball confirms the legacy he leaves behind. Students should recognize and appreciate all that Coles gave to the basketball program, to his players and to the university. Miami will certainly miss him.

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