SCF Names Pro Coach Whelton to Head Basketball Post

(Bradenton, Fla., Aug. 12, 2011) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) has named former professional basketball coach Joe Whelton as the SCF men’s basketball coach.

Whelton’s coaching experience spans nearly 30 years at the professional, Olympic, college and high school level.

Immediately prior to coming to SCF, Whelton served as head coach of Lugano (Switzerland) Basketball Team in the European professional men’s basketball league, leading the team to the Swiss championship in 2010 and 2011. The team also won Switzerland’s League Cup and Swiss Cup in 2011.

Whelton, a Venice resident, was sports director of YMCA Venice, director of the Venice Heat, a United States Special Sports Association (USSSA) basketball team, and head girls’ varsity basketball coach at Venice High School from 2008-2009.

Prior head coaching positions with the European professional men’s league include the Trier Team in Germany, Manchester Giants Basketball in Great Britain, and Bellinzona Team and Fribourg Olympic Basketball Team in Switzerland. He was named Switzerland’s Coach of the Year twice by the Swiss Basketball Federation.

Whelton coached Great Britain’s Olympic qualifying team to their highest placement in a Pre-Olympic Tournament, a record that stands 24 years later.

He served as assistant coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Hartford, Conn.

“I’m very happy to be at State College of Florida. I’m excited about the new opportunity and the challenge of competing for state and national championships. This is a college rich in athletic tradition, and my goal is to elevate the level of SCF’s basketball program,” Whelton said.

At the University of Connecticut (UConn), Whelton attended on full scholarship, playing as a point guard. During his college career, Whelton was team captain, named Most Valuable Player and won the Bob Cousy Award.

Whelton earned a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitative Services from UConn and earned postgraduate hours toward a master’s degree in special education at UConn.

“Joe’s professional and collegiate basketball coaching experience makes him the right fit for SCF. His track record of coaching championship teams strengthens the SCF Manatees athletic and academic tradition,” said Matt Ennis, SCF athletic director.

“We’re proud to have Joe join the team at SCF. As a well-respected coach at the professional, Olympic, college and high school level, Joe brings new excitement and a wealth of knowledge and opportunities to SCF’s athletic program,” said Dr. Donald Bowman, vice president of educational and student services.

Whelton, 55, lives in Venice with his wife and two children. He will start immediately.

Joe Whelton

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