Southwest Mississippi CC Basketball Staff Update

After spending 2019-20 as a volunteer assistant coach for the Southwest Mississippi CC Bears basketball team, Vince Thibodeau has been promoted to the full-time position for 2020-21.
Thibodeau takes over the full-time post following the departure of Jeff Diepenbrock. Also departing the Bears’ staff is volunteer assistant Reggie Chambers.
Thibodeau expressed his thanks to Bears head “Coach Bryan Bender and his wife Kristi as well as Dr. Steve Bishop (Southwest president), Coach Bill Wallace (Southwest Director of Athletics), Board of Trustees member T. W. Bearden and the entire Board for not only allowing me this opportunity, but the incredible support. This has been a difficult year for a lot of people and I’m grateful to be in this position.”
“I am excited to be back with the Southwest program,” Thibodeau continued, “and the chance to continue to impact the lives of our student-athletes. Coach Bender has been a great mentor and I look forward to what we will accomplish this year as a program at Southwest.”
Bender said he was “beyond excited to have Coach Vince back for his second season. He has put in the time, paid his dues and is more than deserving of this opportunity to be our full-time assistant.”
“His ability to connect with our student-athletes, recruits and everyone in this community is a special gift,” Bender went on, “and he has really evolved as a complete basketball coach. He is an unbelievably strong leader, a diligent worker and a top-notch person who has and will continue to represent our program well and take it to another level.”
Bender expressed his personal thanks to “Coach Jeff Diepenbrock and Coach Reggie Chambers for all their hard work and efforts the past two seasons. Their loyalty and friendship were extremely valuable and they left their footprints on our program and my coaching philosophies and I wish them nothing but the best as they pursue other career and basketball opportunities.”
A native of Front Royal, VA, Thibodeau came to Southwest from Richard Bland College (Petersburg, VA) where he spent 2018-19 as an assistant basketball coach and Sports Performance coach.
In 2019-20, Thibodeau helped coach 11 Bears who eventually signed scholarships to continue their collegiate career with a four-year program, five at the NCAA Division I level.
In addition, the 2019-20 Bears compiled a team GPA of 3.53 and were named the MACJC’s men’s basketball Academic Team of the Year for the sixth straight season. Their GPA was second in the NJCAA and tops at the Division I level.
Thibodeau graduated summa cum laude from Western Michigan University in 2013 with a B. B. A. degree in Management. He received a M. S. degree in Sport and Recreation Studies with a concentration in Sport Management from George Mason University in 2015.
Thibodeau served as a graduate assistant at George Mason before moving on to Tandem Friends School (Charlottesville, VA), where the team won a DAC Division 2 conference title and twice won the conference tournament championship; the University of Michigan-Dearborn where helped the 2014-15 team to the 2nd best record in school history; and, Virginia Military Institute, where he served as Director of Basketball Operations.
After his stay at VMI, Thibodeau then moved to Richard Bland before arriving at Southwest.

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