|Title:||Head Coach, 10th Year|
|College:||Belmont Abbey '88|
The winningest coach in GRU Augusta history, Dip Metress has taken Jaguar Basketball from a losing record to national prominence.
Now in his 10th season, Metress was named the fifth head coach in program history on May 10, 2004, and wasted little time in rebuilding the Jaguars. He won 19 games in his first season and led GRU to victories over three nationally-ranked opponents.
Metress added 15 wins in his second season and then, in just his third year, guided GRU to what was, at the time, its second-best season in school history in 2006-07.
Not only did the Jags win 24 games and a PBC regular-season championship that season, Metress was named Peach Belt Conference Coach-of-the-Year and GRU earned a No. 1 regional seeding. The Jags served as hosts of the NCAA South Atlantic Regional, advancing to the semifinals and earning a season-ending No. 18 national ranking.
In 2007-08, it got even better. Metress guided GRU to what was, at the time, the top season in school history, posting a 27-7 record and advancing all the way to the NCAA Tournament’s National Championship game and a national television appearance on CBS. Along the way, the Jags achieved the highest national ranking in school history at No. 5 and clinched their first South Atlantic Region championship, earning their first berth in the Elite Eight in Springfield, Mass., in the process.
A season later, Metress guided GRU to a 30-5 record in 2008-09 that included a then school-record No. 3 national ranking, a sweep of the PBC regular-season and tournament championships, a second straight NCAA Regional Championship, and a return trip to the Elite Eight. GRU lost in the National Semifinals to Cal Poly Pomona (74-70), but garnered more national respect with the selection of Garret Siler and Ben Madgen as All-Americans, and finished the year with a No. 4 national ranking.
In 2009-10, the Jags ascended to the top of the national rankings, earning the No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history on two separate occasions and posting their third Peach Belt Conference title in the last four seasons.
Ben Madgen was one of three finalists for National Player-of-the-Year and an All-American for the second straight season while GRU posted a 29-4 record and made its third consecutive Elite Eight appearance.
Metress may have saved his best coaching job for the 2010-11 season. Faced with the daunting task of replacing all five starters responsible for 116 wins the previous four seasons, Metress guided the 2010-11 Jaguars to the winningest season (in terms of percentage) in school history at 30-4 (.882).
GRU claimed both the PBC regular-season and tournament titles and hosted an NCAA Regional for the fifth consecutive season. Only a 75-73 overtime loss to Anderson in the NCAA Southeast Regional title game kept the Jags from making their fourth consecutive trip to the Elite Eight.
With Metress at the helm, GRU has also made Christenberry Fieldhouse one of the toughest places to play in the Southeast, if not the country. The Jags have led the Peach Belt Conference in attendance and created a definite and decisive homecourt advantage, posting a 113-16 (.876) record in Christenberry Fieldhouse under Metress. In fact, since the beginning of the 2006-07 season, ASU has tallied an 93-10 (.903) mark that includes a stretch of 41 consecutive home wins, and suffered only five losses from 2008-2012. A student group initiated by Metress and originally known as the “Blue Crew” has rallied around the program, providing a “big game” atmosphere every time ASU takes the home floor.
Equally successful on the recruiting trail, Metress’ eye for talent has translated into two Jags winning PBC Freshman of the Year honors over the last five seasons while AJ Bowman -- Metress’ first recruit when he accepted the GRU head job -- won back-to-back PBC Player of the Year honors in 2006-07 and 2007-08. He was also named Player-Of-The-Year in the state of Georgia and was the first player in GRU history to be voted a two-time All-American when he earned national accolades as both a junior and a senior.
Metress returned to Augusta following a highly successful, eight-year stint as head men’s basketball coach at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. During his tenure, Metress guided his alma mater to a 134-103 (.565) record, including a 117-66 (.639) mark over his last six years.
In his last four years at the Abbey, the Crusaders posted a 40-8 (.833) record at home and an overall mark of 84-35 (.706), and in the last three years, they were 68-23 (.747). He also served as Compliance Director at Belmont Abbey from 1997-2004.
Metress guided Belmont Abbey to a pair of CVAC (Carolina-Virginia Athletic Conference) Tournament titles in 2001-02 and 2002-03. The Crusaders made a pair of Division II NCAA Tournament appearances during that span, advancing to the East Region Semifinals in 2002. They earned the highest national ranking in school history in 2002-03 when they stood 11th in the final poll.
Metress’ 2001-02 Crusader squad caught the attention of college basketball fans when it defeated Division I College of Charleston 70-67 in Charleston, S.C., snapping the Cougars’ 22-game home winning streak, which ranked as the fifth-longest in the nation.
During that magical campaign, Belmont Abbey won the CVAC regular-season and tournament titles, earned a final No. 3 East Region ranking and posted a 25-6 record. Metress earned CVAC Coach-of-the-Year and East Region Coach-of-the-Year honors.
A former Augusta State University assistant, Metress served on the Jaguars’ coaching staff under former head coach and current Director of Athletics Clint Bryant from 1989-1995. During those six seasons, Metress oversaw preseason and postseason workouts, monitored academic progress and coordinated the Jags’ recruiting efforts under Bryant. Metress has also helped spur the careers of several assistants. His former aides who have continued their coaching careers include: Jeff Brookman, head men’s coach at Spartanburg Methodist College; Nate Dixon, an assistant men’s coach at Wyoming; Ganon Baker, player development assistant for the Nike Skills Academy; Jay Newberry, who spent two seasons on Metress’ staff at GRU before joining the Ball State men’s coaching staff; and most recently Jamie Quarles, Metress’ current assistant at GRU and former assistant men’s coach at King College in Bristol, Tenn.
Off the court, Metress has been equally successful. Under his tutelage, 34 of 36 GRU Augusta and Belmont Abbey seniors who have finished their eligibility have either graduated or are on track to earn their degrees. The Jaguar and Crusader basketball camps have been a huge success, averaging over 200 campers.
A 1988 graduate of Belmont Abbey with a B.A. in Political Science, Metress earned his M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from Augusta State in 1992.
Metress, 47, is married to the former Heather Bradford of Lincolnton, Ga. They are the parents of a daughter, Elizabeth Margaret.
|College:||Augusta State '08|
After playing four seasons under Dip Metress from 2004-08, former Jaguar guard Jamie Quarles picked up the clipboard and joined the coaching staff on August 30, 2011. Now in his third season as Metress’ top assistant, Quarles helped the Jags to a 17-11 overall record (12-6 in PBC) during his first year coaching.
Last season, he aided a team that began the year on a 6-0 run and eventually made a quarterfinal appearance at the PBC Tournament.
Quarles was a senior on the 2007-08 squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament's National Championship game and during his career, - was part of 85 victories.
A native of Augusta, Ga., Quarles spent the 2009-10 season at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., where he served as head coach of the boy’s varsity basketball (Red) team and a health and physical education teacher. Under his leadership, Oak Hill posted a 44-16 record. A 2008 graduate of Georgia Regents University with a B.S. in Education, Quarles achieved his master’s degree in Kinesiology & Health Science GRU in May 2013.
A veteran of more than 40 years of coaching at all levels of basketball, Lenny Carlson is in his third tenure serving on the ASU coaching staff. He returned for his fourth season in 2012-13 as a valuable aid to Jaguar head coach Dip Metress and has played a prominent role in the development of the Jaguar big men with his emphasis on fundamentals and individual skill instruction.
Carlson was inducted into New England Basketball Hall of Fame on June 22, 2013 in Worcester, Mass. He was part of an induction class that included former UMass Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari and renowned novelist, Harlan Coben, who was an outstanding player at Amherst.
A decorated athlete at all levels, Carlson graduated from North High School in Worcester, Mass., in 1958 and played on two Inter High School championship teams. He then attended the University of Connecticut and graduated in 1962 after leading the Huskies in scoring as a junior and senior. A team captain, Carlson was an All-Yankee Conference, All-New England and All-America selection.
As a graduate student at UConn, Carlson coached the Huskies’ freshman team and, following Hugh Greer’s sudden death, became the interim varsity assistant coach of the 1963 UConn squad that won the Yankee Conference and advanced to the NCAA Regional. Years later, Carlson was a nominee to the ballot of the UConn All-Century Team. He also played professionally for the Hartford franchise in the first NEBA (New England Basketball Association), leading them to a championship.
As a member of the military, Carlson was named to two consecutive All-Army teams and participated in the National AAU Tournament and represented the United States in international competition. He spent the next three seasons playing professionally for the Antwerp, Belgium franchise in the European Basketball League.
Following his fifth knee surgery, Carlson retired from playing and began his 40-plus year association with the Jaguar basketball program in 1968 when he was hired by former Augusta College Head Coach and Athletic Director Marvin Vanover. He served as Vanover’s right-hand man for more than a decade, retiring in 1982 to enter into private business.
Carlson and Vanover were credited with being the first coaches from a predominately white university to recruit African-Americans and later became the first program to recruit foreign-born players and to produce two players from the same team drafted into the NBA.
During the 1975-76 season, Carlson took a leave of absence from ASU to coach professionally in Belgium. His Racing Antwerp squad posted a 41-15 record in the European Basketball Association and he was named the league’s Coach of the Year. Carlson also enjoyed an assistant coaching tenure at Indiana State University before retiring in 2000.
In 2006, Carlson came out of retirement to become Customer Retention Manager for VWR International while also re-joining Jaguar coaching staff under Metress and helping lead ASU to three consecutive Elite Eight appearances in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Carlson has played or coached in over 1,300 college and professional games and appeared in 11 postseason tournaments at the NCAA Division I and Division II and NAIA levels during his time at ASU, Connecticut and Indiana State.