LIVINGSTON, Ala. - Allen Sharpe has been named the 10th men's basketball coach in the history of the University of West Alabama program, according to an announcement today by Director of Athletics Stan Williamson.
"This is a great opportunity for me and my family at a place where we really want to be," Sharpe said. "Over the course of time there had been some lean years at UWA, but what Coach (Mark) Downey was able to accomplish in just one season showed me what can be done at West Alabama.
"Hopefully we can get in there, keep it going and take it even further," Sharpe said. "There are a couple of good players returning. We need to add just a few pieces to keep us headed in the direction we want to go."
Sharpe comes to West Alabama from the University of Arkansas-Monticello and succeeds Downey, who left the program to accept a position at Bowling Green University. He will begin is duties at UWA on June 1.
"We are excited to have Allen Sharpe join the UWA family as our head men's basketball coach," Williamson said. "Allen has the experience and background to continue UWA's winning ways from this past season.
"He has been very successful as a junior college and NCAA Division II head coach and has successfully recruited the state of Alabama and Mississippi," Williamson said. "We believe Allen and his family will be a great fit in Livingston and look forward to all of them becoming a part of this community."
In 12 years as a head coach at Arkansas-Monticello, Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala., and Truett-McConnell, Sharpe has never had a losing record, compiling a 276-97 career record. He has had seven 20-win seasons and six seasons with 26 or more victories.
After beginning his coaching career as an assistant coach at Piedmont College in 2000, Sharpe took the head coaching position at Truett-McConnell where he went 70-25 in three years.
In five seasons at Wallace State, Sharpe went 136-30, averaging 27.2 wins per season. His record over the last four seasons at Wallace was 120-15 (89%) and the 2008 team went 30-0 and finished No. 1 in the NJCAA final poll.
Sharpe is the only coach in Arkansas-Monticello history to have four straight winning seasons and his 2011-12 team was 21-9, just the eighth 20-win season in UAM history. He coached the Great American Conference's leading scorer two of the last three years and the 2013 GAC player of the year. He was 70-42 over four seasons for the Boll Weevils.
"I don't know if people realize this, but the Gulf South Conference has had three teams make it to an NCAA Regional for the last 13 years," Sharpe said. "There is a much better chance as a coach to take your team to a regional tournament at West Alabama and in the GSC."
Sharpe played his collegiate basketball at Lipscomb University under legendary coach Don Meyer, scoring 1,431 career points for the winningest basketball program in the nation during the 90s.
He earned his Bachelor of Science from Lipscomb in 2000 and a Master of Arts from Piedmont College in 2002.
Sharpe and his wife, Susan, who also played basketball at Lipscomb, are the parents of three children - Garrison, Ally and Anderson.