Pugh steps down as head men’s basketball coach

Huntingdon head men's basketball coach Mike Pugh (left) officially announced his retirement on Friday morning. Associate head coach Caleb Kimbrough (center) replaces Pugh as head coach and will be assisted by Ben Strong (right).
Huntingdon head men's basketball coach Mike Pugh (left) officially announced his retirement on Friday morning. Associate head coach Caleb Kimbrough (center) replaces Pugh as head coach and will be assisted by Ben Strong (right).

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Huntingdon head men's basketball coach Mike Pugh officially announced his retirement on Friday morning.

The 66-year-old Pugh, who announced last April that this season would be his last, said this was a decision that has been weighing on him and he felt it was time for a change. Associate head coach Caleb Kimbrough will take over as head coach effective immediately.

"I am so grateful to Huntingdon College for the wonderful years here and I am very fortunate to have been able to end my coaching career at such a great place," said Pugh, who was in his 10th season with the Hawks and his 41st season as a coach in the state of Alabama. "This is something I have been thinking about since the start of the season. It was always my plan to turn the program over to Caleb when the time was right. The time just seems right.

"Caleb brings a new energy and new leadership that I think will be best for the team. Caleb and (assistant coach) Ben Strong both have a lot of enthusiasm and energy. The program is in good hands and I think it's time to let them get it going."

Pugh informed the team and the administration of his decision on Thursday.

"I want to thank Mike for his service to Huntingdon College and our men's basketball program," Huntingdon athletic director Mike Turk said. "Mike has always done things the right way and his efforts have benefited the college in many ways. We are excited for him as he moves into retirement and also for the future of our program under the leadership of Caleb Kimbrough."

Kimbrough was hired in June to assist Pugh this season and transition into the head coaching position at the end of the season. Kimbrough said he appreciates Pugh's guidance this season and the confidence Pugh has shown in him during the transition.

"Coach Pugh and I have had a very good personal relationship. He has been extremely helpful throughout this transition," Kimbrough said. "We have many phenomenal kids on this team who will continue to battle and make the most of this season. There is a lot of basketball left to play and we want to finish the season strong."

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