By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE July 31, 2007 Chris DePew is going out on top.
After leading the Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Generals to a perfect 32-0 record and the 2006-2007 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III men’s basketball national championship, DePew is officially stepping down as the Generals’ head coach.
DePew, who is also the SCCC Director of Athletics, said that he has already spoken with the SCCC administration about his decision.
DePew’s official last day as the Generals’ coach is August 31 and a search for a new head coach is currently underway.
“It’s the right time,” DePew said as he sat in his AD office last Friday afternoon. “It was a very, very difficult decision.”
The primary reason for the decision is family.
“I’m stepping down to be able to spend more time with my family,” DePew said, referring primarily to his wife, Heather, and their 3-year-old son David, as well as other family members.
Another factor in DePew’s decision is the opportunity to cap his coaching career on a high note. The Generals’ 74-68 victory over Northland (Minn.) Community Technical College back on March 17 in the Clark Field House at SUNY Delhi clinched the fourth NJCAA D-III men’s basketball national championship in SCCC history.
In addition, the 2006-2007 Generals became only the fourth undefeated NJCAA D-III hoops champion.
Following the Generals’ title victory, DePew earned several honors. Among them were NJCAA National Coach of the Year and NJCAA Region XV Coach of the Year
“When I became head men’s basketball coach here at Sullivan, my goal was to win a national championship,” DePew said. “I have accomplished that goal and it’s good to have that championship and be able to go out on top.”
DePew will now focus his energy and passion for athletics on helping all of the SCCC sports teams improve and reach that championship plateau.
“I want our cross country, women’s basketball, baseball and golf programs to be on the level of our men’s basketball program,” he said.
In addition to his duties as Sullivan’s AD, DePew was elected the Region XV Assistant Men’s Sports Regional Director last year. Basically he’s second in command for the men’s junior college athletic programs at the 22 NJCAA institutions on Long Island, in New York City and the lower Hudson Valley.
DePew, who was the Generals’ assistant coach for five seasons before being named the team’s head coach in 2003, posted a 121-18 record in his four seasons at the helm.
“I want to thank President Dr. Mamie Howard Golladay, Vice President Elizabeth Kubenik, Dean David Thomson, the board of trustees and my staff for all of their support,” DePew said.