COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Sixteen years have come and gone since Benedict last introduced a new head coach for their men's basketball team.
So, when the Tigers decided to introduce Artis Maddox to the Benedict community as the new men's basketball coach, they made sure the new coach felt right at home. Escorted into the David H. Swinton Center, Maddox was greeted with fanfare from the Marching Tiger Band of Distinction. As he entered the conference room, Maddox was welcomed by supporters as they chanted, "Get up, BC! BC, Get up!"
"We got a champion here," said Willie Washington, Benedict Director of Athletics. "After Coach Watson made a decision to accept another position and move on…the task was to find someone who could lead a championship program and, who in turn, could build a sound foundation."
While the fanfare was much appreciated by Maddox, he understands there's work to be done and he's ready to get started.
"We've been working so hard to get things rolling," Maddox told supporters Tuesday afternoon. "I haven't had a chance to see all the players play yet, but we're in the process of getting workouts and individual workouts started, preseason conditioning, weights, and everything started with those guys. I'm just excited for this opportunity to coach at one of the best HBCUs in the country."
Maddox previously served as the head coach at Florida Memorial in Miami for the last three seasons. At the NAIA school, he led the Lions to 43 victories. Maddox also coached at Mountain State for nine seasons as an assistant. Now, the Jacksonville, Fla., native looks to make his own mark and build his legacy with the Tigers.
"I promise you," Maddox said. "We'll put a product on the court that you will be proud of, that'll make the administration proud, the faculty, staff, alumni, the student body [proud]. That is our goal and that's what we're going to do."
Maddox replaces Fred Watson, who coached the Tigers for the last 16 seasons. Watson went on to become the head coach at Miles.