(Augusta, GA)- Interim Athletic Director, Selina Kohn, announced today that Coach Jimmy Link will lead the Lions Basketball team. He served as the Interim Head Men’s Basketball Coach after being appointed the position mid-way during the 2010-2011 Season. Since then, Link has gone on to lead the Lions with an 11-17 record and second round appearance in the 2011 Southern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (SIAC) Tournament.
Link brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a former player and coach. During his basketball career, Link was a four-year letterman in men’s basketball at Flagler College, where he led the team to its first NAIA National Tournament bid as a point guard in 2002-2003. His team was ranked in the NAIA Top 25 nationally in each of Link’s four seasons as a player and he helped lead the team to a Florida Sun Conference Tournament Championship as a senior.
“I’m elated to be a part of the Paine College legacy,” Link said. Being named head coach is a highly regarded position and I am excited to take on the responsibility of successfully growing the Paine College Athletics Program through recruiting and coaching talented student athletes.”
Link sang the praises of several during a press conference, “I am so excited for the opportunity I have been given here at Paine College. I promised everyone, especially Dr. Bradley, that I would make him proud of choosing me to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Coach Ronnie Spry.”
“I am grateful for assistants, Coach Beard and Coach Smith, for helping me to move the team forward this season. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
He also shared, “Coach Spry recruited me to work as an Assistant Coach at Paine College.” “He has been an unbelievable influence in my life and I am so thankful that he brought me to Augusta, Georgia. Even throughout this transition, he has supported me as a Coach and as a Person. And, I thank him for that,” he said.
During the press conference, Link shared his goals for the Athletic Program. “We have three main goals for the Men’s Basketball Program. We want to graduate Players; mold men so that after they graduate, they make the Paine College Community proud, and win Games and contend in the SIAC Conference,” Link said.
Link has over eight years of coaching experience at the collegiate level, from Division I to the NAIA. He began his career as assistant basketball coach at Flagler College, an NCAA Division II institution in 2004, during which his team ranked Top 10 in the country and made a Sweet 16 Tournament Appearance in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Florida Sun Conference.
He moved on to serve as assistant basketball coach at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland from 2005-2006. Link helped recruit 13 players to the NCAA Division III program, all of which ended up having a school best record. During this time he also assisted.
After a successful career at Washington College, Link returned to Flagler College from 2006-2008 as assistant basketball coach, where he helped sign one of the best recruiting classes ever, three freshman and one transfer and went on to have 20-7 season in their 2nd year of Division II.
Previously, Link served assistant basketball coach at the University of North Florida, an NCAA Division II institution, and member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. There he served along side long time head coach Matt Kilcullen for the 2008-2009 season. He also served as assistant men’s basketball coach at Newberry College NCAA Division II under Steve DeMeo for the 2009-2010 Season.
Touchingly, Link expressed his appreciation to his family who rendered tremendous support throughout his career. Expressing deep gratitude to his deceased mother, he commented, “To my mom, it was her kind soul and amazing heart that made my life special. And, to my Dad, thank you for raising me into the man that I have become and for supporting me in my career when times were tough.”
Link held a very special announcement toward the end. Referring to his biggest fan and the love his life, Link thanked his wife Jennifer for her support. He commented, “My wife Jen and I are expecting our first child. I am so excited to become a father.”
In closing, he said, “as you can tell, I am a family man, husband, and soon to be father. I have also added these young men to my family. I will take care of them like they are my own. We will go through great times and tough times and learn from our experiences. I welcome all of Paine College into my family and encourage all of Paine’s former athletes and men and women who bleed purple and white to come back to their Alma Mater to support the Athletic Program.
Link earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Flagler College in 2003. Link currently resides in Augusta, Georgia with his wife Jennifer.
For more information, call the Office of Communications and Marketing at 706-396-7591 or contact Ms. Natasha Carter at Ncarter@paine.edu.
To view conference visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cve9q0diSI0