Clark State Community College welcomes Springfield South High School graduate KaWambee Gaines as the new women’s head basketball coach.
Karlton Clayborne, interim athletic director at Clark State, said Gaines will bring enthusiasm and motivation to the Clark State Eagles. “He wants the student athletes to develop and be strong women and role models, and be the best person they can be.”
Gaines attended Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. His resume includes being named a two-year letterman at South High School, a two-year letterman at Earlham College and in 1993, team MVP and All-North Coast Athletic Conference. Gaines also served as assistant coach and head coach at several Clark County middle and high schools and four years as assistant women's basketball coach at West Virginia State University.
“West Virginia State University gave me the opportunity to be a head coach at the college level, but Clark State is in my community, and Springfield means a lot to me,” said Gaines. “It also gives me a chance to help young people and teach them about the game I love.”
Gaines said he has already started recruiting players for the women’s basketball team and has some verbal commitments. His goal is to make Clark State relevant in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference and in junior college basketball. “Teams will know they are playing Clark State because we play hard every time we are on the floor. Student athletes will want to come to Clark State and see it's a great place to be,” said Gaines.
Clayborne said sports enhance the college experience, and Clark State is developing a teaching and mentoring program for student athletes. “Clark State gives them the opportunity to improve their game and academic ability,” he said. “We want students to get a good start and foundation in college and also to really work on the skills that make them a better athlete.”
Clark State’s first game for the 2016-17 season will take place in November. Preseason conditioning will begin October 1. Players must be full-time students meeting academic requirements.
Gaines said he appreciates the Clark State administration and the athletic department for allowing him the opportunity to coach and represent Clark State women's basketball.
“I'm very excited about helping these young ladies be the best people, students and players they can possible be,” said Gaines. “I'm excited to get in the gym and teach the game I love.”