OLIVET, Mich. – Chris Coles has been named Olivet College's head men's basketball coach, according to an announcement by Athletic Director Heather Bateman. He comes to Olivet from Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) where he has served as an assistant men's basketball coach for the last five years.
"I am thrilled with Chris joining the Olivet athletic staff," said Bateman. "He comes from a family with a lot of basketball knowledge. We are going to expect great things from him and his student-athletes."
Prior to coaching at SVSU, Coles coached at the high school level for 17 years. He was an assistant varsity and head reserve coach at Ross School in Hamilton, Ohio, for three seasons and Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio, for two seasons. Coles was also the head varsity coach at Vestaburg High School, leading the Wolverines to more wins during the 1998-99 season than the previous three seasons combined. Prior to that, he coached at Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart, Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic and Beal City high schools.
"I am very excited about starting at Olivet," said Coles. "Heather Bateman is somebody I am looking forward to working with. She has a vision for the future of the athletic department and it's something I want to be a part of. My focus will be on having quality student-athletes in the program, so they are able to experience all facets of the college. When I interviewed last week, I was very comfortable and discovered Olivet is a unique place with a student body that has a sense of togetherness and closeness."
A native of Saginaw, Coles was a three-year letter winner at Buena Vista High School from 1984-86, helping the Knights to three straight Class B State Championship game appearances. He climaxed his career by hitting the game winning shot in the 1986 state title game. Known as the "The Shot," Coles launched a 55-footer that swished at the buzzer giving Buena Vista the crown. In addition, he earned first-team All-State, All-Area and All-League honors, and was named to the Saginaw News Dream Team during his senior year. Coles played one season of basketball at Central Michigan University during the 1986-87 season.
Coles earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Miami University of Ohio in 2006. His family includes wife, Robin, and three children, Tyson, Taya and C.J. His father, Charlie, is the former head men's basketball coach at Miami.