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UAH replows fertile ground to find next men’s basketball head coach

HUNTSVILLE – Dipping back into the same well that produced the winningest men’s basketball coach in its history, the University of Alabama in Huntsville announced Tuesday it turned to Berry College to hire Mick Hedgepeth to lead the Chargers.

Hedgepeth becomes the 10th head coach in program history. He comes from Berry College in Rome, Ga., where he led the Vikings from 2022-24 with a record of 44-14.

Lennie Acuff, a Huntsville native who is head coach at Lipscomb, led UAH to a record of 436-214 from 1997-2019 after coming to the Chargers from Berry College.

“I am extremely honored to accept the head men’s basketball coaching position at UAH. I want to thank Dr. (Cade) Smith, UAH President Dr. Chuck Karr, and the rest of the committee for providing my family and I with this incredible opportunity,” Hedgepeth said. “As a native Alabamian who grew up attending Charger camps, clinics, and games, I could not be more excited to now lead a program that I’ve always respected and admired.

“I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity to embrace, cultivate, and build upon the tradition of excellence – both on and off the floor – alongside our staff, student-athletes, and community.”

A welcome ceremony for Hedgepeth and incoming women’s basketball head coach Allen Sharpe will be Thursday at 2 p.m. at Spragins Hall.

“I am incredibly excited to welcome Coach Hedgepeth as the next leader of the Chargers men’s basketball program,” said Smith, UAH Director of Athletics. “Coach Hedgepeth quickly separated himself as our top candidate, and I believe that his experience as a student-athlete, a professional, and a coach have prepared him well to be the leader of the Chargers. He is a proven winner who has played and worked for some great minds in the college game, and I am proud to welcome him and the rest of his family to UAH.”

Hedgepeth starred as a player at Crossville High School and at Belmont College where he helped lead the Bruins to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. He takes over at UAH for John Shulman who resigned after five seasons and a trip to the NCAA Division II South Region to take the job at DI Central Arkansas.

At Berry College, Hedgepeth was named Southern Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 2022-23, while leading the Vikings to an SAA Championship and an NCAA Division III tournament appearance in 2023-24.

Overall, Hedgepeth has four years of head coaching experience and a career record of 80-32, including a two-season stint at Sewanee.

Prior to guiding Berry’s program, Hedgepeth served as director of Basketball Operations at his alma mater Belmont for three seasons when the Bruins compiled a 77-19 record.

Hedgepeth had a legendary playing career at Belmont from 2008-12, and was a member of the Belmont Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023. He was a part of 96 victories, three conference championships, and two NCAA Tournament appearances while ranking amongst the program’s career leaders in points, rebounds, field goal percentage and blocked shots.

A 2011 NACDA Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award in 2012, Hedgepeth’s coaching career began as an assistant coach at Williams College in Massachusetts.

Hedgepeth and his wife, Courtney, have one daughter, Harper.

 

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