When former Kennesaw State head coach Lewis Preston took a leave of absence in early January, associate head coach Jimmy Lallathin was named the interim head coach for a program that has struggled in the Atlantic Sun. And just a couple days after the school and Preston mutually agreed to go their separate ways, Kennesaw State announced that Lallathin’s interim tag has been removed.
“I was impressed with the way he took over the team and conducted himself this past season under difficult circumstances,” Kennesaw State AD Vaughn Williams said in the release. “The team responded under his leadership, playing with a high level of energy and competiveness that led to exciting basketball.
“I am confident that under Jimmy’s direction, the basketball program will continue to improve and become competitive in the Atlantic Sun Conference.”
Under Lallathin the Owls won three games, beating USC Upstate, Northern Kentucky and Stetson. The team’s top four scorers from a season ago, led by guard Delbert Love, all have eligibility remaining. Prior to being hired by Preston in 2011 Lallathin spent four seasons as a member of the staff at Miami University, with one being as an assistant coach (2010-11).
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After spending three seasons as the head coach at Kennesaw State, head coach Lewis Preston will not return to lead the program in 2014-15 with the school announcing the decision Wednesday evening. According to the school, the two sides mutually agreed to go their separate ways.
“I want to personally thank Lewis for his hard work and dedication as head men’s basketball coach during the last three years,” KSU AD Vaughn Williams said in the release. “There were several challenges upon Lewis’ arrival. Priority number one was to greatly improve the academic and social culture of the program and I am very appreciative of the magnificent job that Lewis did in accomplishing this goal and the foundation he has put in place.”
Prior to his hiring in the spring of 2011 Preston was an assistant on Ed DeChellis’ staff at Penn State. He took a leave of absence for medical reasons in early January, and towards the end of that month the school announced that Preston would return at the end of the season.
In Preston’s absence associate head coach Jimmy Lallathin served as interim head coach. Kennesaw State’s top four scorers from this season, led by junior guard Delbert Love (12.6 ppg, 2.5 apg), all have eligibility remaining. The Owls finished the season with a 6-25 record, going 3-15 in Atlantic Sun play.
Lewis Preston will not return to the Kennesaw State bench until the start of the 2014-2015 season, the school announced on Tuesday.
Preston took a leave of absence from coaching the Owls for “medical and personal reasons” on January 2nd as Jimmy Lallathin took over in the interim. This is his third season as the head coach of the program.
“I feel that it is in the best interest of Kennesaw State men’s basketball that Lewis returns to coaching the team at the conclusion of this season,” Kennesaw State Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams said. “I have the upmost confidence in this program, and that the current student-athletes, assistant coaches and Coach Preston will take this program in the right direction.”
The start of the 2013-14 season has been a tough one for the Kennesaw State Owls, as they currently have a record of 3-12 and have lost seven straight games ahead of their Atlantic Sun home opener against East Tennessee State on Saturday afternoon. Things got a little tougher on Thursday afternoon, as the school announced that head coach Lewis Preston will take a temporary leave of absence for “medical and personal reasons.”
Preston, who is in his third season as the head coach at Kennesaw State, spent three seasons on Ed DeChellis’ staff at Penn State prior to being hired by the Atlantic Sun school. According to the release associate head coach Jimmy Lallathin will assume the head coaching duties in Preston’s absence. In regards to when Preston could rejoin the program, no timetable was given.
Of Kennesaw State’s three wins only one came against a Division I opponent, as they beat Chattanooga 73-69 on November 19. All seven defeats in the team’s current losing streak have been by double digits, with the closest margin being 17 points (losses to Kent State and Georgia Tech).
h/t CBS Sports