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July 23, 2010

Sutton completes staff with the addition of DeAntoine Beasley

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Former Tennessee Tech standout DeAntoine Beasley has recently been appointed as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball program effective Friday, July 23. He will assist in all areas including but not limited to recruiting, academics, public relations, scouting, game preparation and working with frontcourt players.

“In coaching you try to get high character people who are willing to work for the benefit of a team, and I believe that I could not have made a better hire for our program than Coach Beasley,” emphasized Tech’s head coach Mike Sutton. “His experiences playing and coaching make him extremely qualified to be a part of the Golden Eagle Basketball family and I think our players, staff and the community will all benefit from his return to Tech.”

Beasley played for Tech from 1997-2002 under both coach Frank Harrell and Jeff Lebo, and helped to fuel the Golden Eagles to back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference Championships during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. In both seasons, Beasley filled the role as team captain and was awarded the John P. Hendrix Leadership Award, and led the team in blocked shots during the 2001 season. The team went 27-7 in 2001-02 and won three NIT games. He was also honored with the Sam Harley Lynn Award in 1998-99 and the Golden Eagle Award for sacrifice, dedication and hard work in 2001-02. Beasley is the only player in school history to have earned all three of these prestigious awards. He started 74 of his 120 games played for Tech, recording 693 points and 396 rebounds over the course of his career.

After completing his B.A. in Health & Physical Education, Beasley commenced his professional career in England, where he played for the Plymouth Raiders from 2002 until 2009. The Raiders were promoted to the top division in England and won the national cup, national trophy and the league championship. Over the course of his career in the BBL, Beasley was honored as the national trophy final MVP, made an all-star appearance and won the BBC Sports Personality Award in the Southwest Region.

His longstanding passion for coaching also grew overseas, as he got his start by coaching the men’s team at the University College of St. Mark and St. John for three seasons between 2002 and 2005. The team advanced to the national championship game in all three seasons, claiming the title in 2003 and 2004.

“It was a fight every year between whether to play or to coach, but coaching finally won” admitted Beasley regarding his decision to return to the states to pursue his career. “I’m really looking forward to getting to know the guys and interacting with players from a coaching perspective, nothing beats that,” said Beasley. “If I can impart anything on them to help them succeed on or off the court, that would be the greatest success.”

“And, I’m also looking forward to a lot of success on the court in the basketball realm,” he added.

His stateside coaching resume began with a reunion with his former coach Jeff Lebo, who had earned a position at Auburn and offered Beasley a graduate assistantship in June of 2009. Just over a year later, Beasley learned of the opportunity at Tech and immediately got in touch with his contacts here.

“It is great to have a former player, particularly someone with his credentials, return to Tech as a coach,” Sutton said. “Coach Beasley has already achieved what we push all of our student-athletes toward – degrees and championships. He has overcome adversity as a basketball player and from a personal perspective to earn a degree from Tech, have an outstanding collegiate career in which he played a major role in winning OVC Championships, and to have played basketball professionally.

“All of these things help him be a great role model for the young men in our program and to help our team reach the goals that we set as a group and individually.”

While Beasley has enjoyed his time playing and coaching overseas immensely and has earned monumental accolades in the process, he is excited to have the opportunity to be back at his alma mater.

“It’s kind of a surreal feeling to be here coaching,” he admitted. “I keep having flashbacks of when I was here as a player and a student. I never thought I’d be back! I loved being a student and playing ball at Tech, so this is kind of like a homecoming.”

Additionally, the rest of the basketball staff is looking forward to welcoming Beasley back to Tech as well.

“I think it is especially exciting to see someone of his caliber as a person return to the place that he has such great love and respect for,” said Sutton. “He has a championship mentality on and off the court and understands what it takes to be successful as a student-athlete at Tech, as well as a professional player, and now as a coach.”

Beasley is an Atlanta, Ga., native who will reside in Cookeville. He is recently engaged to Katie Hespe of Sheffield, England.