PHOTO CAPTION: Coach Gene McBee, photo taken in 1971, during his first season as Head Coach of the Columbia State Chargers.
(Columbia, Tenn. – November 17, 2010) - - - Several former Columbia State Community College Basketball players will honor Coach Gene McBee for his years of service to the institution and for his dedication, support and guidance he gave to his players and fellow coaches. The presentation will be held immediately following the women’s basketball game at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 20 in the W. J. "Billy" Webster Athletic Center on the Columbia Campus.
"We appreciate the opportunity to show our gratitude, respect, and loyalty toward Coach McBee for his service and dedication to the institution and his players," said former player Ardiss Armstrong.
"If it wasn’t for Coach McBee, I wouldn’t be where I am now," explained Paul Handley, who has coached high school basketball for several years. "Like a lot of Coach McBee’s other players, he taught me a lot about the game and gave me an opportunity to make something out of my life that I wouldn’t otherwise have done."
Handley, a member of McBee’s 1978 national tournament team is now a coach at Western High School in Louisville, Kentucky.
McBee came to Columbia State to coach the men’s basketball team for the 1970-71 season. During his ten-year tenure he garnered 224 wins and only 65 losses. His Columbia State record includes four state championships, three runner-ups, three region championships, three NJCAA Region VII runner-ups, and three trips to national tournaments.
"Coach McBee faced many challenges, some within the players he coached, and of course, the high-profiled teams and coaches that Columbia State played against during his 10 years at the college," said Marion Wilhoite, Daily Herald sports editor. "For the 30 years since he coached at Columbia State, he continued to mentor many young players as a high school coach at Summertown and in numerous basketball clinics."
Wilhoite covered games McBee coached in the states of Kentucky, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Georgia, Alabama and Florida in addition to Tennessee.
The Columbia State Lady Chargers will face off against the Cleveland State Lady Cougars at 2 p.m. with the Chargers and Cougars scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. For more information on the Columbia State Athletic Program, visit columbiastate.edu/sports, or contact Louis Conner, Athletic Director at (931) 540-2632 or by emailing email@example.com.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu