Blackhawks Coach Terry Carroll Retires, Hands Reins to Lorenzo Watkins

01/03/2017

SCC Men’s Basketball program has a new coach. Terry Carroll has retired as Head Coach and Assistant Coach Lorenzo Watkins has been named Interim Head Coach. The transition became official on January 3.

Carroll amassed a 211-89 record over ten seasons with the Blackhawks. He took the team to three consecutive appearances at the NJCAA Div. I National Tournament in 2009, 2010, and 2011. In 2011, Carroll’s Blackhawks finished fourth in the country.

Before SCC, Carroll held collegiate coaching posts at the University of Denver, Drake University, Indian Hills Community College, and Iowa State.

Carroll opted to take SCC’s early retirement offer in November.

“My wife and I had thought about it for a while and when the College announced their early retirement package, we decided this would be the right time,” explains Carroll.

Carroll says a mid-season change is the best way to ensure a smooth transition for the program.

“The players know Coach Watkins. They’re familiar with his style and so this should help keep any anxieties about changes in leadership direction that they may have to a minimum.”

Carroll continues that in-house coaching transitions aren’t uncommon. Naming a new coach mid-season demonstrate continuity as the Blackhawks’ recruiting efforts heat up.

“New recruits don’t have to worry about signing with a team not knowing who the coach will be or if the program will be a good fit for them.”

Watkins is excited for the opportunity.

“We’re just starting conference play. We’ve had some good successes and a fair share of learning opportunities. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season,” notes Watkins.

The Blackhawks are currently 9-6.

Watkins joined the Blackhawks as Assistant Coach in 2009. He started his coaching career in 1996 and includes assistant coach stints at Campbell University, University of New Orleans, and Sacramento State. He also served as Head Coach at Indian Hills Community College from 2001-2005.

While Watkins began his career at SCC in 2009, his relationship with Carroll dates back to the early ‘90s when he played for and later returned as assistant coach under Carroll while at Indian Hills Community College.

“I owe a lot to Terry. I learned a lot about the game from him as a player and later on as a coach.”

Watkins continues that he’s honored to have the opportunity to lead such a storied program at this time.

“SCC has had some incredible coaches over the years. From Charlie Spoonhour to Jim Wyatt to Joe O’Brien, and now Terry—that’s some pretty good company,” says Watkins. “Add that history to all the exciting things happening at SCC right now with new facilities and campus projects, and I think there’s some great things ahead for the program.”

Carroll’s employment contract runs through June 30 of this year. He will finish his time at SCC assisting with special fundraising activities for the College.

Carroll says he doesn’t have immediate plans for retirement, but is looking forward to some time off.

“I think I’ve worked every holiday during basketball season for the past 39 years,” jokes Carroll. “Maybe I’ll take up gardening or hunting or fishing. Or maybe just spend more time with my grandkids. Whatever it is, I’m looking forward to it.”

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