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Basketball (M)

Rick Scruggs

  Head Coach
  E-mail: [email protected]
  Office Phone: 828-689-1223

  MARS HILL, N.C. – Rick Scruggs was named the new head men’s basketball coach at Mars Hill College on April 23, 2012.

Most recently, Scruggs was the associate head coach at Appalachian State University following successful 15-year tenure as head coach at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C.

Scruggs served as head coach at the Big South’s Gardner-Webb for the past 15 seasons, where he compiled a 199-218 record. Scruggs took over the Runnin’ Bulldogs in 1995 and oversaw the program’s transition into NCAA Division I in 2000-01.

In 2008, senior Thomas Sanders earned Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and Associated Press All-America honorable mention honors, while teammate Nate Blank was named A-Sun Freshman of the year. In its final season before moving to the Big South Conference, Gardner-Webb posted a 9-7 league mark and a 16-16 record overall.

Despite the individual accolades earned that year, the season is best remembered by basketball fans for one of college basketball’s most memorable upsets, Gardner-Webb’s 84-68 win at Kentucky. Sanders, Blank and three other Bulldogs scored in double figures in the contest as the squad held UK to 35 percent shooting from the floor.

The 2005 A-Sun Coach of the Year led his squad to that season’s regular-season league title and a spot in the tournament championship game. During his time in Boiling Springs, Scruggs led the ‘Dogs to wins against several major conference programs, including Minnesota, Colorado State and East Carolina.

Before joining the Division I ranks, Scruggs was named the 2000 South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year. Prior to Gardner-Webb, Scruggs served as head coach at Milligan (1994-95), Pikeville (1991-94), Belmont Abbey (1989-91) and North Greenville College (1986-89). At North Greenville, he led the squad to a school-record 30 wins in 1989 as well as the NJCAA National Tournament. He was enshrined in the school’s athletic hall of fame in 1999.

The Atlanta, Ga., native earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in 1979 and received a master’s in sports coaching from the United States Sports Academy in 1989. He is married to the former Deanie Gissendanner.

Alma Mater: Georgia, 1979

Coaching Experience:
1986-89 - North Greenville (Head Coach)
1989-91 - Belmont Abbey (Head Coach)
1991-94 - Pikeville (Head Coach)
1994-95 - Milligan (Head Coach)
1995-2010 - Gardner-Webb (Head Coach)
2010-2011 - Appalachian State (Assoc. Head Coach)
2012 – Mars Hill (Head Coach)

Tony Blake

Tony Blake

  Assistant Coach
  E-mail: [email protected]
  Office Phone: 828-689-1370

Tony Blake has been hired as the new assistant men’s basketball coach, Mars Hill Head Basketball Coach Thomas Nash announced today. Blake replaces Trip Cogburn.

Head men's basketball coach Thomas Nash stated, "Tony Blake has a tremendous drive toward excellence.  He has demonstrated this on the court as a player, in the classroom earning a graduate degree and in the community at large.  Coach Blake is a welcomed addition back on the sidelines of the Mars Hill Lions.  This time as a coach."
Blake, a 2009 graduate of Mars Hill and local product of Pisgah High School, played four seasons in a Lions’ uniform.  As a point guard, he played in 107 games and started 72 of them.  Blake scored 507 points and recorded 316 assists.  He was recognized as the South Atlantic Conference Scholar Athlete for men’s basketball during the 2008-09 season.
Blake earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a graduate degree in Accounting in 2010 from the University of North Carolina.