13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
Former West Alabama men's basketball head coach Mark Downey has joined the Bowling Green State University men's basketball coaching staff effective immediately, announced head coach Chris Jans.
"I have known Mark Downey for 15 years and have observed first hand his talent, work ethic, and loyalty," commented Coach Jans. "Coach Downey will prove to be a vital cog in building our program. Mark has led multiple programs to their respective National Tournament while graduating student-athletes and running first class programs. Coach Downey is a winner!"
The winner of two Gulf South Conference championships while at Arkansas Tech and a six-time coach of the year winner in 10 seasons as a head coach, Downey comes to Bowling Green after serving one season at the helm of the University of West Alabama (UWA) men's basketball squad in 2013-14. Last season the Tigers went 17-11 overall and advanced to the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division II South Region Tournament.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to work for Chris Jans again. Chris introduced me to college basketball over 15 years ago and has become a great friend and mentor," stated Coach Downey. "His energy and passion is contagious and I am excited to be a part of his first staff at BGSU. I can already tell that Bowling Green is a special place. We have great leadership with Chris Kingston and his staff, the facilities are first class and the pride within the Falcon Family is infectious. I am thrilled to be a part of it all."
Downey ventured to UWA from the University of Charleston. In only three seasons at Charleston, he compiled a 60-28 record and led the Golden Eagles to their first NCAA Tournament Appearance since 2001.
In 10 seasons at West Alabama (2013-14), Charleston (2010-2013), Arkansas Tech (2006-2010) and Independence Community College (1999-2001), Downey is the owner of a 204-103 record. He has averaged just over 20 wins per season and has recorded just one losing season. He has a 19-6 record in post-season NCAA Division II conference tournaments and has coached in a total of nine conference tournaments, reaching the finals five times and winning three conference titles.
Downey has coached over 30 all-conference players, of which six have been conference players of the year, four have been tabbed the conference most valuable players, while four have also been named the conference freshmen of the year. He has had 40 former players go on to play professional basketball.
He had a 100-percent graduation rate at Arkansas Tech and Independence Community College and has graduated 95-percent of the student-athletes who have played for him as a head coach.
Assistant coaching stops for Downey include the University of New Orleans (2001-2006), Independence Community College (1998-1999), Marshall (1996-1998) and Barton College (1995-1996).
Downey played his collegiate basketball at the University of Charleston (1993-95) and Wheeling Jesuit (1991-92). He was the team captain for two seasons at Charleston and an all-conference performer at Wheeling Jesuit. A two-time all-state selection at St. Francis High School, he led all prep scorers in West Virginia with 37.9 points per game in 1989-90.
Downey and his wife Ericka are the parents of two sons, Bryce (7) and Andrew (2). He earned his Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine from the University of Charleston in 1995 and a Master of Science in Athletic Administration in 1998.
He also made his acting debut in the 2004 Jerry Bruckheimer film "Glory Road", playing University of Kentucky player Tommy Kron. He recently competed in the West Virginia Symphony fundraiser "Charleston's Dancing With the Stars."