Huntingdon coach steps down

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Mike Pugh (left) announced his retirement as Huntingdon's head coach. He'll be replaced by Caleb Kimbrough (center) who will be assisted by former Guilford teammate Ben Strong (right).
Huntingdon athletics file photo 

Huntingdon men's basketball coach Mike Pugh announced on December 30 that he is stepping down from his position effective immedately. Before the season started Pugh announced this season would be his last, and he accelerated the timetable when the Hawks began the season 0-10.

"I am so grateful to Huntingdon College for the wonderful years here and I am very fortunate to have been able to end my coaching career at such a great place," said Pugh in a release. "This is something I have been thinking about since the start of the season. It was always my plan to turn the program over to Caleb when the time was right. The time just seems right.

"Caleb brings a new energy and new leadership that I think will be best for the team. Caleb and (assistant coach) Ben Strong both have a lot of enthusiasm and energy. The program is in good hands and I think it's time to let them get it going."

Kimbrough left his alma mater Guilford College in June to take the associate head coach position at Huntingdon with the expectation that he would become the Hawks' head coach at the end of the season. He was an assistant at Guilford under Tom Palombo for six season and an asistant at Washington and Lee for one. Kimbrough played point guard at Guilford from 2005 through 2008 and started a school-record 108 games. He also played tennis for the Quakers.

"Coach Pugh and I have had a very good personal relationship. He has been extremely helpful throughout this transition," Kimbrough said. "We have many phenomenal kids on this team who will continue to battle and make the most of this season. There is a lot of basketball left to play and we want to finish the season strong."

An Auburn graduate, Pugh coached Huntingdon for nine-plus seasons and posted a record of 82-158. Huntingdon opened the season 0-10 and will play its next game on Tuesday against Belhaven. The Hawks return to conference play on Friday at Piedmont.