Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stallings gets his 200th win at VU

by Barca Blog

Congratulations to head coach Kevin Stallings for earning his 200th win at Vanderbilt with a 73-53 victory over MTSU last night.

When asked about his feat during the postgame press conference, Stallings showed his humble side.

"I honestly hadn't thought about it until Joe Fisher brought it up at my radio show," Stallings said. "I've had a lot of good players, and I've been here for a long time. I'm fortunate to be here.

"But I don't know, how many losses are in that time, too? A lot. If I had like an 89-percent win­ning per­cen­tage, then it would pro­bably be a big deal, but I don't believe it's quite that high."

For the record, Stallings is 200-131 in his 11 seasons on West End. He only trails legendary coach Roy Skinner (278) for most wins in school history.

Stallings admitted that he wasn't sure if he'd be at Vanderbilt this long when he accepted the job in 1999.

"A lot of things are different than I thought they'd be (since then)," he told Fisher on Sunday's broadcast. "Life changes and things happen."

Times weren't easy when he arrived on campus. He inherited a squad that finished 14-15 and 5-11 in SEC play, but managed to guide the Commodores to a 19-11 season and NIT appearance.

Even with the quick success, fans had to be patient as Stallings built the program. He was 62-59 in his first four years without making the big dance, causing some to grumble about the direction of the team. If it weren't for the accomplishments of his 2003-04 squad, we may have never been able to experience the fruition of his vision for Commodore basketball.

Since that season, Stallings has posted a 138-72 record with five postseason appearances, three NCAA Tournament berths, and four 20-win seasons. He became the first coach to take two Vanderbilt teams to a Sweet 16 since the 64 (and 65) team format was adopted. He's also coached and mentored three SEC Player of the Years.

Most importantly, he's done it the right way. All 26 of his seniors either have earned or are currently working toward their college degree.

"You go to work everyday and do the best you can," Stallings explained. "You hope that the people you work for appreciate the job you do and you hope you do it well enough that people can be proud of it."

Let's hope Coach is around at Vanderbilt for No. 300 and beyond.

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