WPU Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Claude Shields, Named Coach of the Year by USA South Athletic Conference
William Peace University is proud to announce that its Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Claude Shields, has been elected the USA South Athletic Conference 2014-15 Coach of the Year. In just the program’s third year, Shields has made history on the hardwood becoming the first-ever USASAC Coach of the Year for William Peace University Men’s Basketball, while also guiding three of his student athletes to All-Conference honors for the first time ever in program history.
“Claude believes in developing our student-athletes on both the hardwood and in the classroom.”
After being picked to finish last (11th) in the Preseason USA South Coaches Poll, Shields and his program greatly exceeded expectations in only its second year as a full-fledged member of the conference. The Pacers posted a 9-5 league mark, which was good for second place, and their 13-12 overall record was four wins better than last year’s total. In addition to Shields’ accolades, the Pacers placed three players on All-Conference teams. Senior Shawn Shaffer earned Second-Team honors, while juniors Nate Strother and Chris Thomas were Honorable Mention selections. Shaffer is also part of WPU’s inaugural senior class, which also includes Michael Wolf and Bryson Gibson. All of these accolades are first-time achievements for the third-year program.
“Claude and his staff have had an outstanding year, competing for a conference regular season championship all the way to the final weekend.”
“This award is for all of the guys in our program who bought in and believed that we have what it takes to compete each and every day,” Shields said. “It is a unique process to build a program from the ground up, and I am extremely grateful to have two great assistants who have played such a huge role in developing our players on and off the court.”
“Claude and his staff have had an outstanding year, competing for a conference regular season championship all the way to the final weekend,” said WPU Athletics Director Kelly Johnson. “Claude has done an excellent job building his program, and we couldn’t be more proud of the team’s accomplishments.”
“We are extremely proud of Claude and his success as a head coach for our institution,” said Debra M. Townsley, Ph.D., President of William Peace University. “Claude believes in developing our student-athletes on both the hardwood and in the classroom, and he is truly a great mentor for these young men. We are thankful to have him on our staff and we know that he will continue this great success in the future.”
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