Early named UL-Monroe coach
=== Early named UL-Monroe coach ===
Monroe, LA (Sports Network) – The University of Louisiana-Monore has named
Alabama assistant Orlando Early its new head men’s basketball coach. Early
becomes just the sixth head coach in the school’s history, as he takes over
for Mike Vining, who resigned recently after 24 years at the helm.
“We are very fortunate to have someone of Orlando Early’s caliber as our new
men’s basketball coach,” said athletic director Bobby Staub. “He is the right
fit for Louisiana-Monroe as we move into the Sun Belt Conference.”
The 37-year-old Early spent the past four seasons as an assistant with the
Crimson Tide, who advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all four years of his
stay and won the 2002 SEC regular season championship.
A four-year letterman at point guard for Gardner-Webb College, Early led the
Bulldogs to the 1988 NAIA District 26 title. After graduating from Gardner-
Webb in 1990, Early took his first collegiate coaching job with his alma mater
Following two seasons with the Bulldogs, Early took an assistant position with
Western Carolina in 1995. He was then promoted from assistant to associate
head coach for the Catamounts in just his second season. During his tenure,
WCU won the 1996 Southern Conference title and advanced to the NCAA
In 1998, Early took a position with UNC-Charlotte, which advanced to the NCAA
Tournament in 1999 and 2001 and to the NIT in 2000 with Early on the staff.
Charlotte also won the Conference USA tournament championship in 1999 and
Early, who has agreed to a four-year contract with a base salary of $115,000
per year with additional incentives, has big shoes to fill, as Vining was the
winningest coach in Southland Conference history.
During his stay with the Indians, Vining went 401-303, while appearing in
the NCAA Tournament seven times and receiving one NIT berth.
Early’s hire is still pending the approval of the University of Louisiana
System Board of Supervisors.