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Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tommy Edwards Announces His Retirement
Buccaneers Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tommy Edwards tearfully announced his retirement to his basketball team at an end of the year banquet last night. Edwards sits as the only coach in the four year history of the CVCC Women’s Basketball program. He has gone 82-30 in his 4 years and has had a winning season each of the years he led the Buccaneers program. This last year marked his most successful to date going 29-0 in the regular season and posting a 14-0 conference record to claim the first Carolinas-Virginia Conference title for the women’s basketball team in program history. The Bucs finished the regular season ranked 3rd in the NJCAA national poll, and saw Anika Jones named Region X Player of the Year and Coach Edwards named Region X Coach of the Year. When asked about his final season with this group Coach Edwards said, “I would classify my final season as the DREAM SEASON, by winning 30 consecutive games before losing to Louisburg College in the regional tournament finals. This season exceeded all of my expectation, by winning the conference, being ranked 3rd in the nation, and having the opportunity to coach an outstanding group of you ladies.”
To celebrate Coach Edwards we have decided to look at the past and see how he has evolved and forever changed the athletic landscape at CVCC:
Coach Edwards had finished up his successful high school coaching career at Bunker Hill High School in the previous year. He was notified of the chance that CVCC decided to start a Women’s Basketball and Baseball program. Serendipitously, Coach Edwards ran into Jeff Moore at Wal-Mart and asked about the chance of a program starting. With a rare contact, a series of events took place and Coach Edwards was offered the opportunity to start the Women’s Basketball Program at CVCC. He immediately hit the road and started recruiting, preparing for the first season in NJCAA competition in the 2009-10 school year. Quickly Coach Edwards loved the opportunity to recruit and said, “The opportunity to pitch CVCC was exciting, CVCC is an excellent education that is very affordable to everyone.”
In the first game of program history Coach Edwards found his squad matched up against perennial power Patrick Henry CC and saw the team fall in a battle 67-70. This loss would mark the only time since that the Buccaneers would have a losing record. The Buccaneers ripped off 9 straight wins following the loss, including a win over national power house Louisburg College 67-60. “I was so proud of my girls and their accomplishments in our inaugural season,” stated Coach Edwards. The first women’s basketball season concluded with a 16-7 record and the start of a winning tradition.
The Bucs started out the season 5-4 before facing #7 ranked Patrick Henry CC. In an exciting game the Bucs were able to capture their first win over a ranked opponent beating them 84-62 at Patrick Henry. One of the most memorable games for Coach Edwards was the 1/21/11 game against Guilford Tech at home. The Bucs found themselves down by 19 points in the second half and had lost previously to Guilford Tech 48-59. The Bucs dug deep and went on a run taking the lead and coming back to win the game by 1 point. “It was unbelievable and the kids were ecstatic,” said Coach Edwards recalling the game. However, the signature win of the season was over Brunswick CC in the regional tournament. “I was very excited about getting our first regional tournament victory over Brunswick CC, 68-58,” said Coach Edwards. “I felt as though we now belonged in the league and could be competitive.” The Bucs finished their second season 18-12 and cemented their spot in Region X.
The Bucs came out of the gate running in their third season. The team was able to rip off 12 wins in their first 13 games, with the lone loss coming to Walters State who finished the year ranked #10 in the Division I NJCAA poll. The Bucs were able to defeat #16 Guilford Tech at Guilford Tech 62-59 and finished the season 18-10 with another win in the region tournament over Brunswick CC.
Coach Edwards finishes his CVCC career with a 73% winning percentage and saw his team ranked in 15 or higher in 13 NJCAA stat categories in the past season. Overall, Coach Edwards has posted a career coaching record of 629 – 307. At Bunker Hill Coach Edwards coached 23 years and posted a 418-199 record, he was named Conference Coach of the Year 6 times.
“Today is an exciting day for Coach Edwards and his wife, but a sad day for CVCC athletics. Over the time I have gotten to know Tommy I have appreciated his grit and determination for creating a successful program, but I find myself praising more Tommy’s character and drive to make every girl that plays on his team better.” Says Athletic Director Jeff Moore, “We will truly miss him here, but look forward to him always being in the Buccaneers family. He will forever be credited for all the success our Women’s Basketball team has had and will have in the bright future of our program.”
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