KALAMAZOO, Mich., May 1 (UPI) -- Officials at Western Michigan Thursday announced the hiring of Steve Hawkins as the school's new men's basketball coach.
Hawkins, who becomes the 13th coach in WMU history, replaces Robert McCullum, who took a similar job at South Florida. Hawkins had been an assistant under McCullum for the past three years.
"Coach Hawkins has played a big part in the program's success and we are thrilled to have him leading the team during this exciting time in the program's history," said Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard. "We believe he will continue our current momentum, and we look forward to reaching new heights with his leadership."
Hawkins was thrilled about the promotion.
"From a professional standpoint, I am ecstatic with the opportunity to be able to continue with the progress the program has made as well as taking on the challenges of moving to the next level," Hawkins said. "From a personal standpoint, (his wife) Lana and I are equally excited by the opportunity to remain in Kalamazoo."
Hawkins, 40, is an 18-year veteran of the coaching ranks. He broke into coaching in 1985 as a student assistant at South Alabama, and later served nine seasons as head coach at Quincy University in Illinois.
The native of Ventura, Calif., guided the Hawks to an overall record of 137-111, a total that included three NCAA Division II Tournament selections in seven years.
He was named the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coach of the Year four times.