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Southern Wesleyan Promotes Stites to Head Coach of Men's Basketball

Southern Wesleyan Promotes Stites to Head Coach of Men's Basketball

    03.11.24 | Athletics

    Central, SC – Southern Wesleyan is excited to announce the promotion of Joel Stites from interim to permanent Head Men’s Basketball Coach for the Warriors.

    “Coach Stites has demonstrated outstanding leadership, dedication, and a profound commitment to the success and development of our student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Julia Reininga. “I am excited for the future of Southern Wesleyan University Men’s Basketball.”

    Dr. Joel Stites joined the Warriors in the fall semester from Valdosta, Georgia where he has been an accomplished head basketball coach, at the men's varsity level in high school, spanning over 13 years.  In February, Stites became the interim head coach for the Warriors. Under his guidance, the Warriors took down the top seeded Young Harris Mountain Lions in a 77-75 final score.

    Prior to joining the Warriors, he compiled nearly 230 wins while coaching in both the private and public school levels. Under his guidance, his teams have had remarkable success with nine trips to the Sweet Sixteen, two Final Four appearances, and a State Championship in 2017.

    At the conclusion of the 2017 season, Stites earned the GISA Coach of the Year. His 2017 team achieved a ranking as the NAAPS #2 team in the nation. During the last decade as a coach, his teams have had no less than a winning record. He has been privileged to have over a dozen players receive offers to play beyond high school level.

    Beyond his coaching achievements, Stites has been blessed with a 23 year career in dentistry. He received his Doctorate from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and completed an AEGD residency at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He served as a Captain in the United States Air Force Dental Squadron for three years, finishing at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia. He has been a staff doctor at South Georgia Medical Center for 18 years, and has served as the Chief of Dentistry.

    He met his wife, Kristina, in Valdosta and has been married to her for 16 years. Together, they have helped shape the lives of countless players.

    “I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent our institution and our community,” commented Stites. “I will work tirelessly to ensure our student athletes leave Southern Wesleyan University as capable and effective leaders for Christ. Let’s get to work!”

    Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused, faith-filled community that offers inventive learning experiences. The university endeavors to prepare its students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, go online to swu.edu. 

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