-Hampden-Sydney head basketball coach Dee Vick announced the hiring of two assistant coaches to his staff in Chuck Thomas and T.J. Grimes.
“We are excited to welcome Chuck and T.J.,” said Vick. “Both bring a wealth of experience and a lot of familiarity to our program.”
Thomas rejoins the program after a brief stint as an assistant with the Tigers in 2007, helping Hampden-Sydney to its tenth ODAC Championship and a second round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Most recently, Thomas has been the Director of Athletics and Head Basketball Coach at Fuqua School. Thomas has over 20 years of head coaching experience at the high school level, including successful tenures at L.C. Bird High School, being twice named the Dominion District Coach of the Year and taking Bird to the VHSL Class AAA State Championship game in 2011; St. Christopher’s, earning Prep League Coach of the Year honors in 2005 while guiding the team to a #6 ranking in the VISAA State Basketball Poll; and King William High School, earning four Coach of the Year honors. Thomas has also had experience at the collegiate level, serving as the Director of Basketball Operations at the College of William & Mary during the 2005-06 season and as an assistant coach at Hampden-Sydney for the 2006-07 season.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to come back and coach at Hampden-Sydney,” Thomas stated. “It is truly an honor to be a part of the H-SC basketball family of great coaches and players. I am eager to start working with the development of returning players and new players coming in.”
Throughout his career, he has coached Hampden-Sydney alumni, including Kristian Hargadon ’01, Kevin Swann ’01, and JaVonte Reddick ’17, as well as the Johnson brothers in Malik (Canisius) and Robert (Atlanta Hawks), and Will Hardy, who is currently an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs.
“Chuck and I met 20-plus years ago when he attended a team camp at Hampden-Sydney,” Vick added. “We became friends at that point and have remained close. We worked together one year at William & Mary, and I have recruited several of his players from King William, James River, St. Christopher’s, L.C. Bird, and Fuqua. Chuck is one of the best coaches I have ever been around at any level, and I know he is going to make us better.”
Grimes is no stranger to the Hampden-Sydney faithful, standing as one of the best players in Hampden-Sydney history. Grimes earned First Team All-ODAC three times in his career, while twice being named to the All-South Region team and capping off his career with All-America accolades as a senior in 2000. As a junior, Grimes helped guide the Tigers to a national championship game appearance, and followed that up with a perfect 26-0 start to his senior season and a #1 national ranking. Grimes currently stands as the program’s seventh leading scorer with 1,740 points and still holds the record for three pointers made in a career with 262.
“I am excited to return home and work for the College and the Tiger basketball program,” Grimes commented. “Coach Vick recruited me, and we have stayed close throughout the years. He is like a big brother, and a great mentor; his loyalty means the world to me and my family. I am excited to get started and to help bring greatness back to Tiger basketball. Hampden-Sydney is a special place, and I am grateful for the impact it had in my life.”
Grimes has coached at the high school level, serving as Glen Allen High School’s head JV coach from 2010-12 and as the associate varsity coach since 2013 while coaching under head coach Matt McKeag ’03. Additionally, he coached the 14-and under Team Richmond AAU team, and since 2008 has served as the founder and president of Love the Game Basketball, which promotes, inspires, and enhances the love of basketball among youth and adults in the Richmond area.
“T.J. was a standout performer for the Tigers from 1996-00 and will go down as one of the most clutch players to ever play at Hampden-Sydney,” Vick said of Grimes. “T.J. understands what it takes to win and is willing to put in the work to gain the desired outcome. His confidence is contagious and coupled with his high basketball IQ, he has been successful coaching AAU and high school basketball. Additionally, he has been a well-respected salesman in the business sector.
“Both Chuck and T.J. will relate well with our student-athletes and will give our recruiting efforts a boost.”
Thomas and Grimes join the staff following the departure of Kevin Leatherwood.