Claflin University has tapped a veteran coach and a young, energetic motivator, recruiter and teacher to lead its men’s and women’s basketball programs.
Athletics Director Dr. Jerome Fitch announced Wednesday that Scott Monarch has been named the head men’s basketball coach and Deont’a McChester will lead the women’s basketball program.
Monarch comes to Claflin from the University of Northern Colorado where he was an assistant coach last year. He was also an assistant coach at Marquette University where he helped lead the Golden Eagles to four NCAA appearances from 2008 to 2012. He succeeds Ron "Bootsy" Woodard who was let go after nine years at the helm.
McChester was the lead assistant for the Lady Panthers last year and was interim head coach following the termination of Tiffany Tucker in March.
“We are very pleased and excited that Scott and Deont’a will lead our basketball programs,” Fitch said. “Scott brings an outstanding track record of coaching and recruiting. Deont’a’s style of coaching has resonated with our players and his determination and attention to detail will enhance our women’s program. We believe these characteristics will translate into consistent winning and competitive programs at Claflin.”
From 2000 to 2006, Monarch was the head coach at Panola College of Carthage, Texas, where he became the winningest coach in school history. In 2003, he was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 14 Coach of the Year and his team captured the Eastern Conference title.
Monarch also held assistant positions at Tennessee State University, Grambling University and Kentucky Wesleyan College. After graduating from Mississippi Valley State University in 1990, he landed his first coaching position as an assistant at McClennan Community College of Waco, Texas. In 2008, he was an assistant at Tyler Junior College, where the team compiled a 25-4 record and captured the Texas Eastern Conference title. While at Marquette, Monarch is credited with recruiting Jimmy Butler, a first round draft choice of the Chicago Bulls, and Jae Crowder, the 2012 Big East Player of the Year.
“A passion for learning is the greatest characteristic of my coaching that I want to impart on my students,” Monarch said. “I want the student-athlete to understand that learning is a process that never ends, and that this passion doesn’t start and end with the sport they are participating in while I am coaching them. I want to learn more about my students as people, athletes and learners so that I can provide each with the atmosphere and motivation they need to reach their professional and personal goals.”
A Flint, Mich. native, McChester says he is a coach who focuses on developing fundamental skills.
“The execution of the fundamentals and being in the best possible condition gives us our greatest chance to be successful here at Claflin University,” he said. “Claflin University’s women’s program has a history of being one of the elite programs in the nation. I feel privileged to be a part of the staff to help bring this program back to the top in women's basketball on the national level,” he said.
Before his tenure at Claflin, the Keuka College of Keuka Park, N.Y. graduate held the position of women's head coach of the Flint Lady Monarchs, a women's professional team in Flint, Mich. From 2010-2012, McChester led the Lady Monarchs to back-to-back elite eight appearances in the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) national tournament. The team also won consecutive northeast regional championships. For his efforts, McChester was named Coach of the Year for 2011 and 2012.