|Basketball court named for Tom Bryant
RELEASED: Dec. 7, 2004
DANVILLE, KYThe dedication of the gym floor honoring Tom Bryant, former Centre men's basketball coach and athletic director, was held Dec. 3 after the Centre Women's game against Rhodes College.
Bryant's tenure with Centre spanned three decades ending in 1996. Bryant and his contributions to the College have been praised by many, including former opponents.
"I recently learned Centre College is to honor Tom Bryant," said Jack Berkshire, head men's basketball coach at Oglethorpe University from 1976 to 1998. "It was a real challenge to coach against Coach Bryant during my time at Oglethorpe University. His teams were always well prepared for anything we would throw at them. As a coach, you are always trying to find the opponent's weak spot to attack. It was very difficult to find that weakness when playing Coach Bryant's teams. Their offensive efficiency and defensive soundness resulted in some outstanding records. Just as important, Coach Bryant's teams displayed good character and sportsmanship."
David DeMarcus II, three-time all-conference guard and the most recent Centre player named Conference Player of the Year, also remembers Bryant fondly.
"Coach Bryant and Centre College are a wonderful part of the DeMarcus family life," he says. "Many happy hours, especially when we won the conference, were spent at the games and on the road trips. This is a well-deserved tribute for the many years that Coach Bryant devoted to his beloved Centre basketball teams."
Centre's home court was renovated this summer as part of the $22-million expansion and renovation project known as The College Centre.
Bryant had a record 382 victories as the men' coach from 1968 to 1996. He guided the Colonels to two NCAA Division III "Final Four" tournaments (1979 and 1989). Bryant's teams won 15 conference championships and reached the Division III tournament nine times. Centre named him an honorary member of its Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches named Bryant Kodak Coach of the Year in the South District eight times.
A 1955 graduate of Miami of Ohio, Bryant had successful coaching stints at Colerain, Hillsboro and Walnut Township high schools in Ohio before becoming the head coach at Centre.
He's a member of the Miami of Ohio University Athletic Hall of Fame and the Ohio Coaches Hall of Fame.
Bryant was a starter on three Miami teams that won their conference championship. He was a team MVP and also named to the Mid-America All-Conference team.
The College Centre project will create a state-of-the-art academic and recreation/athletic complex and has made dramatic progress during the summer. The undertaking is an expansion and renovation of the Crounse Hall and Sutcliffe Hall. Completion is slated for spring of 2005.
For more on The College Centre, including new pictures of the construction work, go to www.centre.edu/cc.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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