DATE: October 5, 2001
CONTACT: Calvin Burns, 901/333-5338 or Keith
Gentry, 901/333-4114 or Marilyn Duncan, 901/333-4247
STCC's Sails Recovers From Surgery; Countdown
Begins for 500th Career Win
Verties Sails, men's head basketball coach and
athletic director at Southwest Tennessee Community College, will kickoff
his 23rd season with the Saluqis on Friday, November 2, when he leads
his team against Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee.
At that time, the highly regarded Sails will begin the countdown for his
500th career win as head coach of the Saluqis. The veteran coach enters
the 2001-2002 basketball season with an impressive 487-185 career record
in the Tennessee Junior/Community College Athletic Association. (TJCCAA).
Just three months ago, however, the upcoming
season and capturing his 500th win were not major concerns for Sails. On
July 18, the 59-year-old head coach had double hip replacement surgery.
"Facing surgery definitely was the most prominent thing on my mind
several weeks ago," Sails acknowledges. "I wasn't thinking
about wins or losses. I just wanted to wake up after surgery and see
some smiling faces."
The veteran coach got his wish, and is now on the
road to full recovery. Currently, Sails said he is at about 85 per cent
of where he needs to be physically. "When we tip-off on November 2,
I will be ready to go," he said.
Coach Sails and the Saluqis will be looking to
build on last year's banner season, when they finished with a 23-8
record and made their second consecutive trip to the National Junior
College Athletic Association Division I National Championship
Tournament. The personable Sails said he is counting on the play and
leadership of his sophomore players to lead the Saluqis to another
The returning veterans include: 6'6 forward Lou
Wright, 6'6 forward Cortez Stigger, 6'4 guard Larry Wells, and 6'0 guard
Some freshman players who are expected to have an
immediate impact on the team are: 6'2 guard Lonnie Gibbs, 6'5 guard
Jarmorrow Moragne, 6'4 guard Antwon Bess, and 6'7 center Zachery Bright.