“It’s not something I ever set out to do,” Plattsburgh State men’s basketball head coach Tom Curle became the all-time leader in wins in PSUC men’s basketball coach history. Curle, who is currently in his 12th season as the Cardinals’ head coach, achieved his 205th win Jan. 20 in a blowout 83-60 win over SUNYAC opponent Potsdam.
Curle himself actually played for and graduated from PSUC in 1982, and was named the head coach in 2003. In the seasons since his hiring, he has led the Cards to four SUNYAC conference championships, six NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament selections and has coached 24 players to All-SUNYAC selections.
Something that cannot be seen through statistics however, is Curle’s ability to connect with his player, both when they are playing for him and when they have moved on as alumni. This strong connection that Curle holds between himself and his players can be seen both on and off the court.
Senior forward Reggie Williams is having the best season of his career, leading the SUNYAC in field goal percentage at an impressive 58 percent, and he is fifth in rebounding, pulling down eight boards per game.
Williams credits Curle with helping him adjust to multiple facets of the college game.
“When I came here as a freshman, I needed help with things like my endurance and how to prepare for a college game,” Williams said. “He really showed me how to set myself up to succeed here.”
While Williams came in craving Curle’s help with the intangibles, junior guard/forward Xavier Thomas arrived to PSUC as the gifted athlete he still is today, but with a severe lack of confidence.
“When I came here, I was just a dunker, someone who could jump high,” Thomas said. “I now shoot better from the foul line and have a better three point shot.
He has helped me add a whole other dimension to my game.”
These improvements are noticeable, with Thomas raising both his three-point shooting average and free-throw shooting percentages this season from last. This increased confidence from three has opened up more space on the floor for him to cruise to the basket.
Curle is extremely vocal on the bench during games, not afraid to get after a ref for what he believes is a bad call or show his frustration with a player making a mistake. Williams that although this intense attitude shown on the court is replicated in practice and everyday life, it certainly does not stop Curle from being able to bond and have fun with his players.
“He is very energetic and animated,” Williams said. “He is definitely a really fun guy to be around, but when it is game time he is very serious.”
Curle’s coaching ability is certainly on display this season, the Cards (13-5, 8-3 SUNYAC) are currently tied for the best record in the SUNYAC with Oswego, whom they won their matchup against this season, and they have the second best overall record in the conference.
Curle, rather than continuing to relish his impressive accomplishment, is humbly ready to move past it and focus on the rest of the season ahead.
“As great as it is I am ready to put it behind me and move forward,” he said.
Email Bailey Carlin at email@example.com.