Following up on a rumor that HoopDirt.com published back on March 27th. It’s now been made official that Mike Poe, head men’s basketball and golf coach at Tennessee Wesleyan University, has resigned from his position to accept the head boys’ basketball position at Volunteer High School in Church Hill, TN. Poe previously served as the head coach of the school in 1987.
Poe, a former men’s basketball player and 1981 graduate of then-Tennessee Wesleyan College, returned to Tennessee Wesleyan after 23 successful years in the high school ranks. The Church Hill native held a career record of 347-203 before returning to his alma mater to take over as the head coach in 2004. “I will be eternally grateful to Coach (Stan) Harrison for giving me the opportunity to come back here to coach,” stated Poe. “It has been an honor and privilege to have been the basketball coach for the last 14 years.” (At the time of Poe’s hiring, Harrison served as the athletic director.)
Poe took the basketball program to unprecedented heights during his tenure. Before his arrival, the program had been to the national tournament just three times. In Poe’s 14 seasons, he guided the team to national postseason play six times through five Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) titles. He also led the team to a school record 18 straight wins in 2012, only to break the record two years later with 20 wins in a row. Poe was named Coach of the Year by the AAC three times during his tenure.
A change at the top occurred during Poe’s time at Tennessee Wesleyan and although changes at the top do not always work out for coaches, in this instance, it worked out for both sides. “I would be remiss not to thank athletic director Donny Mayfield for giving me the tools to be successful once he was promoted to the athletic director position in 2007.”
“Tennessee Wesleyan is not just losing a great basketball coach in Mike Poe, as proven by his three Coach of the Year honors voted upon by his coaching peers, but a great friend to the University as well,” stated Mayfield. “We want to thank Mike for all he has done for Tennessee Wesleyan University on and off the court and we are excited to see the success he is going to have at Volunteer High School.”
Poe leaves the Bulldogs with a 251-186 overall record, giving him the second best record in program history and making him one of two coaches to have over 200 career wins. He helped guide Tennessee Wesleyan to the men’s basketball program’s 1000th win with a victory against Bryan College on February 14, 2015.
In his service as the head men’s golf coach, which he resided over for 11 seasons, Poe saw six of his teams win AAC conference championships and made five trips with the team to the NAIA national championship tournament. He guided the team to its highest finish of ninth place in the national tournament in 2014 and eleventh-place finish in 2015. His teams have consistently been in the top 20 of the NAIA Polls and he oversaw 23 All-Conference Players, two All-Americans, a national Player of the Week, five AAC Players of the Year and two players who were named to the NAIA All-Tournament Team.
“Along with the many players I have coached at Tennessee Wesleyan over my career, one of the many things I will cherish was the chance to reconnect with a lot of the TWU family, such as Johnny Morgan, David Tucker and Johnny Coffman among many others,” Poe said.