Tony Ingle Named Roadrunner Basketball Coach
August 2, 2012
Dalton native Tony Ingle has been named Head Men’s Basketball Coach for Dalton State College. Ingle, who is the only NCAA men’s basketball coach in Georgia to ever win a National Championship, will lead the Roadrunners into their inaugural season of NAIA basketball in 2013. Coach Ingle has been a part of nine NCAA tournament teams at both Brigham Young University and Kennesaw State University. He won the Division II National Championship in 2004 at Kennesaw State in only his fourth year at that job. He is the only coach in the history of Georgia basketball to be named Coach of the Year in the state at the high school, junior college, and NCAA level. He now hopes to add NAIA to that list.
“We are starting up a program here at Dalton State, and we are fortunate enough to be able to start that program with someone who is already legendary in the state of Georgia for his coaching prowess and engaging personality,” said Derek Waugh, Athletic Director. “Coach Ingle has established himself as a giant in the business. His reference list includes Bobby Cremins, Tubby Smith, Billy Donovan, Mark Slonaker, and Hubie Brown and would include John Wooden if he were still living…that is the company he keeps.”
Dalton State President Dr. John Schwenn adds “We are glad that Coach Ingle will be joining the newly developed Department of Athletics at Dalton State. As I have stated before, an athletic program will encourage students to attend, the college itself to keep growing, and help create a positive community spirit. We are excited about bringing athletics back to Dalton State and the traditions it will create!”
Ingle has strong ties to the city of Dalton and Whitfield County. He grew up in Dalton and was a player on two Dalton Junior College teams that reached the National Championship Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. In his sophomore year at Dalton Junior College, he was also the institution’s student body vice President. Coach Ingle’s coaching career began at Southeast Whitfield High School in Whitfield County, Georgia. From there he moved to Cherokee High School in Cherokee County, Georgia, where he led his squad to the AAAA State Championship game and was named the Georgia High School Coach of the Year 1982.
In moving to the college level, Ingle started the basketball program at Gordon Junior College, led the school to the Region 17 Championship game, and was named Junior College Coach of the Year in the state of Georgia in 1988. After a year at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, Ingle joined the staff at BYU and helped lead that program to five NCAA Division I tournaments and an NIT bid. He was the interim head coach at BYU for one season, spent time on the staff of the Utah Jazz, and did color commentary for the Mountain West Conference.
Ingle returned to Georgia in 2000 to take over a struggling Kennesaw State program. He led that program to four consecutive 20 win seasons, three Peach Belt Conference Championships, and the 2004 Division II National Championship. Kennesaw State then moved to NCAA Division I and Coach Ingle had the team ranked twice in the Division I “Mid-Major” top 25. During his tenure at Kennesaw State, he became the school’s leader in all-time wins and produced 55 Academic All-Conference Team Selections. He was named the Georgia and National Coach of the Year in 2004.
Coach Ingle is also a renowned author and public speaker, and he founded and directed the John and Nellie Wooden Foundation in the state of Utah, which recognized excellence in college basketball coaching.
“Having been a Division I basketball coach for the last 14 years, I have had the opportunity to witness plenty of NCAA Division I coaching searches. The list of candidates that wanted to come to Dalton State is on par with or better than most of those searches I have witnessed. We are truly blessed to be at this institution, and the fact that we cannot only add a great basketball coach, but someone who has a true passion for this school and community and all that it is, and can become, is really remarkable,” says Waugh.
Dalton State’s men’s basketball program will begin play in the Fall of 2013 at the NAIA level and 2012-13 will be a year to recruit and build the foundation for the program. The “Roadrunners” junior college men’s basketball program was a staple of Northwest Georgia basketball through the 1960s and 70s. Their success under head coach Melvyn Ottinger and assistant coach Dick Coleman was cause for great excitement in the area, and Dalton State is looking to re-create that excitement at the four-year college level.
“I feel just like the lion in the Wizard of Oz when he told Dorothy ‘Look at the circles under my eyes. I haven’t slept in weeks.’ My nerves have been shot wondering who the coach would be because there were so many good candidates,” says Coach Ingle.
He adds, “I am thrilled to be a part of Coach Derek Waugh’s vision for Dalton State’s men's basketball program, and I will do all in my power to give everyone associated with Dalton State, the city of Dalton, and Whitfield Country a program our students, faculty, fans, alumni, and supporters can be proud of in the classroom, in the community and on the court. I never believed that the Dalton State Roadrunners would ever start four-year, intercollegiate athletics, and to even think that the first time the new Roadrunners hit the court that I will be the coach is unbelievable and a position I will honor and take very seriously!”
Ingle has been married for over 38 years to his wife, Jeannie, also a Dalton native. They have four sons, Eliott, Golden, Tony, Jr., and Israel. All four of his sons played or were involved in college basketball, and Israel is the current head coach at Gordon College in Barnesville, Georgia. The Ingles have one daughter, Sunshine, who lives in Utah with her husband and their three kids.