Chattanooga Mocs Introduce Basketball Coaches Dan Earl and Shawn Poppie
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) The Chattanooga Mocs named their new men’s and women’s basketball coaches last week. Wednesday, we got to meet them. News 12’s Angela Moryan was their for the introductions.
Angela: “The next chapter of Chattanooga basketball began today with the introduction of not one but two brand new head coaches for the Mocs. Both Shawn Poppie and Dan Earl walk into very different situations with their teams. Coach Poppie inherits a women’s team that had the worst record in program history winning just seven games. Meanwhile, Coach Earl comes from VMI, another SoCon school, inheriting a team that went to the NCAA tournament.
Let’s start with the women’s hire. Athletic director Mark Wharton said there was no second choice, that Shawn Poppie was the man for this job. He has four scholarship sports available on the team. He says recruiting is going to be a number one priority. However, he still wants to see what this team already has. Overall, he’s excited to get Mocs women’s basketball back to its former glory.
Said Poppie: “Ten of those young ladies could have found a new home, but they stuck together because that’s the bond that they have. Now it’s our job, my job, to coach them up, put them in situations that make them successful, obviously help in recruiting to add some pieces to the puzzle, but it’s not a rush for me because I want to make sure we’re getting the right fit.”
Angela: On the men’s side, coach Dan Earl brings his own style to Chattanooga. VMI was number one in the league for shooting threes last season, while Chattanooga was number one in defense. Earl is hoping that those two will pair well together to become a fierce force in the SoCon.
Earl: “I was not running away from VMI at all. We built a great culture, were very competitive, did some really good things, but I am running towards Chattanooga. This is a phenomenal place for a variety of different reasons, which I’ll get to. I’m super excited about getting to sell the program, and recruit players, and win basketball games.”
Angela: Of course the hottest topic of conversation was former VMI center Jake Stephens entering the transfer portal. He was second to the Mocs own Malachi Smith in points per game in the Southern Conference last year. Could Stephens join his former coach and move to the Scenic City? I asked Coach Earl. He said he can’t comment on any current recruiting situations. But that’s not a no. We’ll have to wait and find out. For now reporting from McKenzie Arena, I’m Angela Moryan”