Russellville (ATU) - There will be a new man in charge of the Wonder Boys.
Arkansas Tech University Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Steve Mullins officially introduced Doug Karleskint as the Wonder Boys new head men's basketball coach in a news conference here this morning at the annual "Link It Up" Golf Tournament held at the Russellville Country Club.
Karleskint was promoted to the head coaching position after serving this past season as the top assistant on the staff of former coach Mark Downey. Downey resigned as the Wonder Boys coach this past Monday to accept the head coaching position at his alma mater, the University of Charleston in Charleston, W.V.
"I am excited and pleased to name Doug Karleskint as our new head men's basketball coach," Mullins said. "I have the upmost confidence that he will be able carry on our recent successes we have had both on and off the court.
"I know Doug will do a tremendous job running our men's basketball program."
Karleskint takes over the reins of a Wonder Boy program that is coming off one of its most successful seasons in school history as Tech won a school-record 30 games and advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the second straight year. In addition, the Wonder Boys won their second straight Gulf South Conference men's basketball title and won their first-ever GSC West Division title and finished the season ranked No. 1 in the final NABC/Division II Coaches' Poll. Over the last two seasons, Tech has compiled a 53-11 overall record.
"I am extremely grateful to Dr. Brown and Coach Mullins for allowing me this tremendous opportunity to serve as the head men's basketball coach at Arkansas Tech University," Karleskint said. "Mark Downey built a tremendous foundation the past four seasons and I look to continue that excellence on and off the court that was started by Downey."
Karleskint, who is the 21st head coach in the program's 87-year history, moves up to the head coaching spot after serving last season as the top assistant on Downey's final Wonder Boy staff.
Prior to coming to Tech at the beginning of this past season, Karleskint, a native of Fort Scott, Kan., spent two seasons as an assistant coach on Danny Kasper's staff at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. In his two seasons with the Lumberjacks, Karleskint helped SFA to a 50-14 record and back-to-back regular season Southland Conference championships, including posting a 24-8 record in 2008-09. In addition, the Lumberjacks won the Southland Conference Tournament in 2008-09 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, while in 2007-08, SFA played in the NIT (National Invitational Tournament) and finished with a 26-6 overall record. While at SFA, he was responsible for recruiting, game preparation, on-court instruction, organizing team travel, coordinating all film exchange, monitoring academic progress of student-athletes and serving as the Co-Director of the Danny Kasper Summer Basketball Camps.
"I have been a part of a lot of successful teams as a basketball coach in my career and I hope to continue that success here as the Wonder Boys coach," Karleskint said. "This program has had a lot of success over the years and that winning tradition has returned the past few years."
Prior to joining SFA, Karleskint served as a graduate assistant coach for two seasons (2005-07) on Coach Steve Tappmeyer's staff at Northwest Missouri State. While at Northwest Missouri, Karleskint was involved with recruiting, on-court instruction and assisted with the team's academic mentoring program and helped the Bearcats post back-to-back 20-win campaigns and a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular season title in 2007. Before beginning his two-year stint at Northwest Missouri State, Karleskint spent the 2003-04 season as an assistant at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kan., and then spent the 2004-05 season as an assistant coach on Happy Osborne's staff at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kent.
While at Fort Scott, Karleskint served as the team's recruiting coordinator, along with implementing and supervising the team's academic monitoring program. Under the program, each Fort Scott player on the team earned at least 2.5 grade point average. In his one season at Georgetown, he was in charge of high school recruiting in Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Georgetown finished the 2004-05 season with a 29-6 record and a No. 3 national ranking in the final NAIA Division I poll.