Ferrum College Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Tharp has announced that he will not return to the Panthers’ sideline next season. The 2016-17 season marked his 12th and final year as head coach.
“Ferrum has been very good to me and gave me an opportunity to live a dream of coaching college basketball,” said Tharp. “I will be forever grateful to Director of Athletics Abe Naff and the Ferrum administration for trusting the men’s basketball program to me over the past 12 years. I leave with a deep appreciation for the players and coaches that worked so hard during my time at Ferrum.”
Tharp leaves Ferrum as the school’s career wins leader in the Division III era. His teams set records for season overall wins (23), season conference wins (10) and winning streak (11 games). His 2007-08 team won the USA South regular season title, while his 2010-11 team finished 23-5 and was ranked nationally for most of the season. Tharp accumulated a 149-164 career coaching record over the past 12 years. Prior to taking over as head coach, Tharp served four seasons as assistant men’s basketball coach.
Under Tharp, 20 players earned All-Conference honors and 13 earned Academic All-Conference. Two players were named USA South Rookie of the Year and one earned USA South Player of the Year. Additionally, Derek Mitchell was the South Region Player of the Year and earned All-American first team honors in 2011. Tharp earned USA South Coach of the Year honors in 2008 and 2013.
“We appreciate the hard work, passion and dedication that Bill brought to our basketball program, athletic department and to Ferrum during his tenure. We wish him and his family well,” said Naff.
A national search to find a new coach will begin immediately.