Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter!

Hobbs fills GW coaching spot

Karl Hobbs said he is excited to begin coaching his new players and pledged the focus of his team will be hard work and discipline at a May 7 Smith Center press conference, where GW officially announced Hobbs as the new men’s basketball head coach.

“I come to GW with the knowledge and confidence that I can put a team together on the court,” said Hobbs, who previously served as assistant coach for the University of Connecticut. “I’ll be working daily with educators and administrators who care deeply about the institution and about student athletes who represent all of us on and off the court.”

Hobbs said he will bring discipline to a team which has seen on and off-court trouble in recent years.

“Kids want to be disciplined,” Hobbs said in front of a crowd of about 70 GW officials, alumni and reporters. “I think they complain when they get disciplined. But I think they complain more when they don’t have discipline.”

Hobbs alluded vaguely to the season’s off-court trouble by saying winning would not come at the expense of the integrity of the University.

“Winning is the most important thing to me,” he said. “But I want to make this clear: I will not do it at the expense of the institution or the players.”

GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, who attended the press conference, said Hobbs is the right person to steer GW in a new direction.

“It just seemed to us that he brought a quality of energy and appropriateness to this program at this time,” he said. “We’ve made our bet.”

Since assuming the job, Hobbs said he has spent much of his time speaking with GW’s seven returning players and communicating to his players through the media.

“I’m just trying to put a basketball team together,” Hobbs said. “(I’m) trying to get a feel for the players.”

Hobbs appeared on “The George Michael Sports Machine” on NBC, Glenn Harris’ “Sports Talk” on News Channel 8 and a roundtable discussion on Comcast television last week to discuss his new position.

“After the press conference, I felt it was better to stay (in D.C.),” Hobbs said. “I wanted to devote time to (my players). Let kids know who I am through the media.”

Five players from last season’s team have exhausted their four years of eligibility and sophomore guard SirValiant Brown will enter the NBA Draft in June. That leaves seven players on the current roster, including starters Chris Monroe and Attila Cosby. Brown said he will leave GW even if he is not selected in the NBA Draft June 27.

Hobbs confirmed GW has signed two players, T.J. Thompson, a point guard from Kensington, Md., and Tamal Forchion, a power forward from Philadelphia. Former basketball coach Tom Penders recruited both players, who signed letters of intent while Penders was at the helm.

Hobbs said the recruits will play under a different coach. “They’re all set to come here,” he said.

Hobbs has three more scholarships to hand out and will begin meeting with recruits to put together a relatively young team.

Sophomore Greg Collucci said Hobbs has already met with the team five times and has stressed what he expects of his players academically, on the basketball court and on the road.

“He went over with us how he plans on coaching our program,” Collucci said. “The way he wants it.”

Hobbs said his message is simple.

“If players play together, we will win basketball games,” he said.

Hobbs said GW fans should expect an up-tempo style of offense from his team.

“I’d like to be able to fast break,” Hobbs said. “I’d like to be able to create easy baskets. You have to try to find ways to score easy points. We’re going to try to be disciplined in everything we do.”

The Colonials (14-18) scored 77 points a game in the 2000-01 season, something Hobbs said he wants his team to aim for.

One of Hobbs’ first orders of business will be hiring an assistant coach and staff. He declined to discuss any possible candidates but said he wants an assistant coach with experience as a head coach at the collegiate level.

“I think it’s important for me to have some wisdom sitting next to me,” he said.

Hobbs said he would not rule out hiring former associate head coach Rob Wright or former assistant coach Bonzie Colson, who were dismissed from GW’s staff after Penders resigned.

“I’m going to speak with Bonzie and Wright,” he said. “I think they have that right. I have received great references for them from people I respect.”

Hobbs served eight years as assistant coach at the University of Connecticut in a program filled with high-profile players including Kevin Freeman, Khalid El-Amin, Ray Allen and Richard Hamilton.

Robert Chernak, vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, said he likes Hobbs’ ability to recruit and handle high-profile players.

“None of them had any problems at the University of Connecticut,” Chernak said. “What he’s going to prove is he has all the attributes he needed to be a head coach. He just needed a school to give him a chance.”

The men’s program had been without a head coach since Penders resigned April 20, after GW caught the national spotlight for off-the-court player conduct. Penders cited exhaustion from more than 30 consecutive years of coaching as his reason for leaving.

Last month four players admitted to illegally using the phone access code of assistant coach Tommy Penders Jr. Reports also arose of nine misdemeanor charges brought against forward Attila Cosby in January for an alleged sexual assault in his residence hall room last summer.

The NCAA will likely hand down sanctions to the two returning players involved with the phone incident, Marquin Chandler and Darnell Miller. Cosby awaits trial at D.C. Superior Court June 25.

Hobbs beat out Kevin Clarke, a former associate head coach at GW and a current associate under Mike Jarvis at St John’s University, GW women’s head coach Joe McKeown and University of North Carolina-Greensboro head coach Fran McCaffery for the job.

Known as a great recruiter and a guard’s coach, Hobbs served as assistant coach to Jim Calhoun on UConn’s 1999 national championship team.

Hobbs’ is connected to GW through Assistant Athletic Director Dom Perno. Perno recruited and coached Hobbs in the early 1980s at UConn, and Hobbs led a 1983-84 Huskies team coached by Perno.

Prior to coaching at UConn, Hobbs served as a full-time assistant coach at Boston University for six seasons.

Hobbs pursued coaching positions at a number of Division One colleges, including American University, Washington State University, Siena College and Drexel University.

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet