By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE July 18, 2003 Chad Beeten, coach of the Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) mens basketball team, called it quits on June 16 and headed off to Las Vegas.
Beeten served as head coach of the Generals since November 2001.
He decided to move on, said SCCC Athletic Director Chris DePew. Chad decided it was in his best interest for himself and his family to recolate back to the West Coast.
According to DePew, Beeten will reportedly join his father in starting a real estate company in the Las Vegas area.
DePew said Beeten came to him on May 31 and told him he was considering leaving for greener pastures.
We kept it quiet in order to strategize what to do next, said DePew.
First thing on the agenda was to call all nine returning players and tell them Beeten would no longer be at the helm for the 2003-2004 basketball season.
We wanted them to be the first to know, said DePew.
The players reaction to the news?
It was good and bad, he explained. There was a state of confusion . . . a lot of them were upset he was going to leave basketball.
DePew said that of the nine returnees, six have signed letters of intent, two are expected to sign on the dotted line and one is a maybe.
After Will Brown gave up his coaching job at SCCC for a coaching position at a Division I school, DePew took over the reins until Beeten came on board in mid-November 2001.
He took over a team that I recruited and then molded it into his own, recalled DePew. They adapted to his system, and he took them to the NJCAA Nationals at Delhi.
Refecting upon the transition, DePew added, He felt uncomfortable taking over a team that had already played a number of games and I felt uncomfortable relinquishing the leadership role.
This past season, DePew took a back seat and Beeten guided the team to a 25-5 record and a berth in the regional tourney for the sixth consecutive year.
Beeten was tabbed 2002 Coach of the Year in NJCAA Region XV.
I think Chad did an excellent job, said DePew.
So whats next for the Generals?
DePew will lead the team onto the floor as head coach for the 2003-2004 season while maintaining his duties as athletic director. And the search is on for an assistant coach with strong recruiting skills.
I am in the process of negotiations with the college adminstration, DePew said. The administration is looking at a two-year commitment to be reviewed to see how I juggle the jobs of athletic director and head mens basketball coach.
Im not sweating it, he added.
DePews take on the upcoming season of NJCAA hoops?
Im excited about it, he said. I cant wait, I wish October 1 was tomorrow.