Thibodeau added to Southwest Mississippi Basketball Staff

Photo Courtesy Southwest Athletics

Southwest Mississippi Community College men’s basketball head coach Bryan Bender announced the addition of Vince Thibodeau to his coaching staff.  With over eight years of being on a college coaching staff, Thibodeau rounds out an impressive staff for the Bears.

“Coach Thibodeau brings a wide range of experiences to our staff,” Bender said. “His eight years in the business, including six at the NCAA Division I level, and having experience already coached at the NJCAA level this past season at Richard Bland College brings a lot of value to our program.  As a young coach he brings a ton of diversity with his previous experiences with video, scouting, strength training, player development, recruiting and administrative responsibilities. On top of that he is an outstanding person, a diligent hard worker and extremely well-educated.”

Thibodeau holds a BBA in management from Western Michigan University and a M.S. in Sports Management from George Mason University.  He has had stops the NCAA DI level including Western Michigan as a student manager (2011-13), George Mason University as a graduate assistant (2013-14) and Virginia Military Institute as Director of Basketball Operations (2015-18).  He spent two years as an assistant coach, one at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (2014-15), and this past season at NJCAA Division I Richard Bland College of William and Mary (2018-19). 

When asked why he chose to come to Southwest, Thibodeau said, “I am so grateful for President (Steve) Bishop, Athletic Director Bill Wallace and Coach Bender for giving me this opportunity. Coach Bender is a great coach and even better individual. He cares so much about the student-athletes and wants them to succeed in all aspects of life. The relationships he has with his players proves how great of a person he is for our game. We both have similar goals and this will be a great chance for me to expand my knowledge of the game and connections within it. I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish here and continue to learn with this great staff.”

Thibodeau joins the 2nd year coaching staff of Bender that also includes Jeff Diepenbrock and Reggie Chambers.  The coaching staff features three former NCAA D1 staff members and is excited to add a fourth with Thibodeau. Bender came to Southwest after stops at the University of Minnesota (2005-2013) and Appalachian State (2014-2017). Diepenbrock came to Summit from Georgia State (2012-2018) and Virginia Tech (2008-2012). Chambers had previous coaching stops at Arkansas State (2017-18), and Barry University (2016-17), Delta State (2015-16), and Liberty (2014-15) which he started after a professional playing career overseas and at Florida Gulf Coast and West Virginia Wesleyan.

The Bears finished last season with a winning record, seeing eight players sign scholarships with four-year institutions-Avery Diggs (University of Central Florida), Atticus Taylor (North Carolina State), Arturro Bingham (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Denijay Harris and Jay Malone (University of Southern Mississippi), Roderick Smith (Western Illinois University), Bob Boyd (Lewis-Clark State College) and TJ Ben (Mississippi College).  Southwest led the nation in freshmen to sign to NCAA Division I institutions and was named the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year with a team GPA of 3.43.

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