Claflin University has tapped a veteran coach with vast experience in molding championship-caliber teams and a young, energetic motivator, recruiter and teacher to lead its men’s and women’s basketball programs, respectively.
Athletics Director Dr. Jerome Fitch announced Wednesday that Scott Monarch was named the head men’s basketball Coach and Deont’a McChester will lead the women’s program. Monarch is coming to Claflin from the University of Northern Colorado where he was an assistant coach last year. He was also an assistant coach at Marquette University where he helped lead the Golden Eagles to four NCAA appearances from 2008 to 2012. McChester was the lead assistant for the Lady Panthers last year and was interim head coach.
“We are very pleased and excited that Scott and Deont’a will lead our basketball programs,” Fitch said. “Scott brings an outstanding track record of coaching and recruiting. Deont’a’s style of coaching has resonated with our players and his determination and attention to detail will enhance our women’s program. We believe these characteristics will translate into consistent winning and competitive programs at Claflin.”
From 2000 to 2006, Monarch was the head coach at Panola College of Carthage, Texas, where he became the winningest coach in school history. In 2003, he was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 14 Coach of the Year and his team captured the Eastern Conference title. Monarch also held assistant positions at Tennessee State University, Grambling University and Kentucky Wesleyan College. After graduating from Mississippi Valley State University in 1990, he landed his first coaching position as an assistant at McClennan Community College of Waco, Texas. In 2008, he was an assistant at Tyler Junior College, where the team compiled a 25-4 record and captured the Texas Eastern Conference title. While at Marquette, Monarch is credited with recruiting Jimmy Butler, a first round draft choice of the Chicago Bulls, and Jae Crowder, the 2012 Big East Player of the Year.
Monarch said the fundamental goal of his coaching is to enhance and promote learning. He said the primary lesson he has learned in his 22 years of coaching is that students learn differently, and a coach should create an environment where different learning styles can thrive. In addition to displaying knowledge and expertise for his sport, a coach must display a passion for learning, he said.
“A passion for learning is the greatest characteristic of my coaching that I want to impart on my students,” Monarch said. “I want the student-athlete to understand that learning is a process that never ends, and that this passion doesn’t start and end with the sport they are participating in while I am coaching them. I want to learn more about my students as people, athletes and learners so that I can provide each with the atmosphere and motivation they need to reach their professional and personal goals.”
Coach McChester’s goals are specific and deliberate: to be a relentless recruiter and bring the best and brightest student-athletes to Claflin; instill his determination, self-motivation and high energy to his players; and bring the women’s program back to national prominence.
A Flint, Mich. native, McChester says he is a coach who focuses on developing fundamental skills.
“The execution of the fundamentals and being in the best possible condition gives us our greatest chance to be successful here at Claflin University,” he said. “Claflin University’s women’s program has a history of being one of the elite programs in the nation. I feel privileged to be a part of the staff to help bring this program back to the top in women's basketball on the national level,” he said.
Before his tenure at Claflin, the Keuka College of Keuka Park, N.Y. graduate held the position of women's head coach of the Flint Lady Monarchs, a women's professional team in Flint, Mich. From 2010-2012, McChester led the Lady Monarchs to back-to-back elite eight appearances in the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) national tournament. The team also won consecutive northeast regional championships. For his efforts, McChester was named Coach of the Year for 2011 and 2012.
“We welcome Coach Monarch and Coach McChester to the Claflin University family,” said President Henry N. Tisdale. “Our student athletes are poised for success on and off the court under this new leadership.”