Sharpe resigns at D2 Southern Arkansas

Mulerider Men’s Basketball Head Coach Andy Sharpe is stepping away. The ten-year leader of Southern Arkansas’ men’s hardwood program announced on Monday afternoon that he is leaving his post to pursue other opportunities both professionally and personally namely to spend more time with his family.
“To wake up every day for the last 10 years as the head coach at Southern Arkansas University has been a dream come true and an incredible opportunity for which I am eternally grateful,” remarked Sharpe. “Special thanks to Dr. David Rankin, Dr. Trey Berry, and Steve Browning for trusting me as the leader of our basketball program and for your constant support and friendship.”
“We can’t thank Coach Sharpe enough for what he has meant to our men’s basketball program,” noted SAU Director of Athletics Steve Browning. “He brought our program back to life and made it a national contender and one that our University and community could be proud of.”
Browning added, “Year in, year out his teams consisted of quality student-athletes that represented SAU in a first class manner on and off the court.  You can always measure a person’s success on the way they left the program compared to how they found it.  Without a doubt, Southern Arkansas University, Mulerider Basketball, the community of Magnolia and myself are all better today than we were 10 years ago because of Andy and Mandy Sharpe! I wish nothing but the best for the entire Sharpe family on their future endeavors and I couldn’t be happier to know that they will still be a huge part of the Magnolia community.”
Hired as the ninth head coach of Mulerider Basketball since 1950 and the fifth of the University’s NCAA Era in April of 2012, Sharpe directed Southern Arkansas to heights not previously reached in the program’s first 17 seasons as an NCAA member. In ten seasons under Sharpe’s leadership, the Muleriders won 147 games and posted no fewer than 12 wins in every season but his first in addition to six seasons with at least 15 wins, including an NCAA program record 19 wins in the 2018-19 season.
Within those 147 victories are ten consecutive Great American Conference tournament appearances (advancing to the semifinals four times with opening round wins in 2014, 2016, 2021 & 2022), the program’s first appearance in a GAC Tournament title game, a GAC Tournament Runner-Up finish and the program’s first-ever NCAA postseason berth and first national tournament appearance overall since the 1988-89 season. At home, Sharpe’s Muleriders were dominant winning 99 games inside the W.T. Watson Center which included six seasons with ten or more home victories and a three-season stretch from January 21, 2017 to January 16, 2020 that saw SAU win 16 consecutive home games against in-state GAC competition.
His total wins at SAU are the third-most in program history behind SAU Sports Hall of Famers W.T. Watson (17 seasons, 300 wins) and Monroe Ingram (17 seasons, 257 wins) and are the most among the program’s five NCAA head coaches.
The Muleriders were turned into serious contenders in the Great American Conference as SAU won 95 conference games and finished in the top half of the standings in six of his previous eight seasons. The 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons saw the Muleriders post consecutive winning campaigns for the first time since the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. Since then, SAU has posted a winning season on four more occasions. In 2019, the Muleriders became nationally ranked for the first time as an NCAA program; appearing at #22 in the January 22 edition of the NABC DII Top 25.
Sharpe added “I count myself blessed to have played a part in the revival and resurrection of our program here at SAU. I am proud of our leap into relevance both in the GAC and also nationally. I am forever grateful to all the student athletes that have taken a chance on me throughout my coaching career. I’m a better man because of each of you.”
In his ten seasons, Sharpe coached four 1000-point scorers, one All-America selection, one all-region honoree and nine different all-conference players with several of those earning multiple all-league honors as Muleriders in addition to seeing his players rewrite the program’s record book over the past decade. Sharpe mentored the 2020-21 GAC Player and Defensive Player of the Year/unanimous All-GAC First Team selection Aaron Lucas, 2014-15 GAC Defensive Player of the Year/All-GAC First-Team selection Alre’k Brown, a pair of GAC Freshman of the Year winners in CJ Elkins (2015-16) and Jalen Brooks (2018-19) and two-time unanimous All-GAC First Team performer Devante Brooks. Elkins was named to the GAC’s All-Decade Team in January of 2020.
 “Thank you to the Magnolia community for your love and support over the years. Thank you to longtime assistant coach David Anderson, current associate head coach Logan Quinn, Coach Ted Waller, and current graduate assistant coach Miki Takei for pouring into our program,” remarked Sharpe. “Finally, thank you to my wife Mandy for your unwavering love and support all these years and for how well you loved all of our boys. I look forward to what’s ahead for me personally and professionally. I am excited to be a more present father to my kids and husband to Mandy while my family and I are ecstatic to remain in the Magnolia community and continue to build our life here.”
For his career, spanning 17 seasons with stops at Emmanuel (GA), Martin Methodist and Southern Arkansas, Sharpe compiled a record of 315-202 (.609) earning career win No. 200 (Jan. 15, 2015 vs. Champion Baptist) and No. 300 (Nov. 22, 2021 vs. Champion Christian) during his time with the Muleriders.

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