Faulkner head basketball coach announces retirement - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Faulkner head basketball coach announces retirement

(Source: Faulkner University) (Source: Faulkner University)

Jim Sanderson, who during an illustrious career as Faulkner's head basketball coach took the program to unprecedented heights, has retired.

In his 24 years at the helm of the Eagles, Sanderson posted a record of 481-297. His 2001 team won the University's first-ever NAIA national championship in any sport, and he received numerous national coach of the year honors that season. Sanderson's teams won three Southern States Athletic Conference regular season titles, four SSAC tournament championships and made eight trips to the national tournament.

During his tenure at Faulkner, Sanderson built the Eagles' program into one of the NAIA's elite. In addition to winning the national championship, Faulkner made appearances in the Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Fab Four rounds of the national tournament. Sanderson's 481 career victories ranks him tenth among active NAIA coaches.

Sanderson informed Faulkner president Billy D. Hilyer and vice president Jean-Noel Thompson of his decision Wednesday afternoon, saying it was best for him and his family.

"Faulkner University has been very dear to my family's heart for quite some time," Sanderson said. "The past and present basketball players have blessed my life beyond measure. The administration, faculty and staff have been gracious to me during my time here, and I am especially appreciative of Dr. Hilyer's support and encouragement. I love this school and pray that God will continue to use it to lead young people to Christ, for this is our foundation."

A search for a new head coach will begin immediately. Scott Sanderson, Jim's younger brother and former head coach at the University of Mobile and Lipscomb University, has been named interim head coach.

"Jim Sanderson has served a significant role at Faulkner University for many years," Hilyer said. "He is an outstanding coach, a great individual and my friend. He is one of the most competitive individuals I've ever known, but also one of the most caring. His care for his players, and other students as well, was deep and genuine."

Source: Faulkner Athletic Department release.

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