April 4, 2012
Seltzer Named Men's Basketball Coach
Bennie Seltzer was introduced April 5 as Samford University's head men's basketball coach during a morning media conference. Seltzer also was introduced to players, athletics department staff, Bulldog Club members and a university-wide meet-and-greet as part of the day's activities.
Samford Director of Athletics Martin Newton introduced Seltzer, a native of Birmingham and graduate of Parker High School, as the 27th head men's basketball coach in school history. He replaces Jimmy Tillette, who had served as Samford's head coach for 12 seasons. Samford is Seltzer's first head coaching position, but he has been a key assistant coach at Indiana, Marquette and Oklahoma universities.
"I couldn't be more excited about the future of Samford basketball," said Newton. "After an exhaustive national search, all roads led to Bennie Seltzer. His character, energy, enthusiasm and work ethic make him the perfect fit at this time for this university. He brings the total package with his ability to coach, recruit and develop players, not to mention his ties to the Birmingham community. This is truly a new day for Samford basketball."
Seltzer takes the reins of the Samford basketball program after spending the previous four seasons with the Indiana University Hoosiers. The team made the Sweet 16 of this year's NCAA tournament, where they lost to eventual national champion Kentucky. He came to Indiana with Tom Crean after spending two years at Marquette where he helped the Golden Eagles earn back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament.
"Believe me, Bennie Seltzer has seen it all and there is no task at Samford University that he will not be ready to attack with integrity, energy, and unyielding attitude for success," said Crean. "He will be thoroughly missed at Indiana but will never be forgotten for the work that he put in with us. Congratulations to all at Samford University for adding Bennie Seltzer to your university, athletic department and basketball program. There is no task too small or no challenge too great for him to be a part of. You will be energized and inspired by his personality, work ethic and teamwork."
According to Newton, Seltzer flourishes in the role of player development and was selected as one of four court coaches for USA Basketball national team trials in July 2004. In that role he was responsible for conducting drills, coaching scrimmages and working with players in East Rutherford, N.J., who vied for spots on the 2004 USA World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Team. The eventual 12-man team later won the gold medal by going 5-0 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
"After working with Bennie for a few days with USA Basketball in 2004, I knew he could be a very good coach," Crean said. "After six years of working with Coach Seltzer, I know he is an outstanding coach. He helped take us to high levels at Marquette and after four years at Indiana, helped us endure the greatest professional hardships we had ever faced to get to a point where our program is nationally relevant again."
Seltzer played four collegiate seasons at Washington State University before spending four years professionally in Turkey, Venezuela, Poland and Holland.
Seltzer is the all-time assists leader at Washington State (473) and also ranks second in 3-pointers made (230), sixth in steals (147), sixth in points (1,423) and sixth in minutes played (3,227).
"Bennie Seltzer is an outstanding choice as Samford's head coach," said Jay Bilas of ESPN. "Bennie is smart, energetic and passionate. He has a great feel for the game and for players, and he has a tremendous work ethic. I think the world of Bennie Seltzer."
A First-Team All-Pac-10 Conference selection his senior season when he averaged 17.9 points and 4.7 assists, Seltzer closed out his career as the league's career record holder for 3-point baskets. He was also a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team in 1989-90 when he averaged 11.7 points, 4.1 assists and 1.4 steals.
"This is a great hire for Samford University," said University of Alabama head women's basketball coach Wendell Hudson. "I have known Bennie for many years and share a special connection with him, as we are both graduates of Parker High School in Birmingham. It's always nice when you can bring one of your own back home. He did an outstanding job as an assistant at Oklahoma, Marquette and Indiana, and I am confident he will be a great leader for the Bulldogs."
Seltzer, who is 41, holds a sociology degree from Washington State. He and his wife, DicQues, have two sons, Diamond, 18, and Bennie III, 10.
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