Dr. Robin Tricoli, Hiwassee College President, welcomes Hugh Watson as the new Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball Program. Watson coached the Tigers from 1984 until 1990 and is happy to be back courtside at Hiwassee College.
Hiwassee College has announced the hiring of Hugh Watson to the Tiger coaching staff. Watson will serve as the Head Coach of the Men’s basketball program and will be in charge of the recruiting, coaching, scheduling, and day-to-day operations of the team at Hiwassee College.
In an interview, Hiwassee College President, Dr. Robin Tricoli, stated, “We’re excited to welcome back Coach Watson to Hiwassee College. It’s an honor to have someone of his experience, commitment and energy as part of our athletics program. Coach Watson has a very impressive resume and I know he will do a fantastic job.”
Coach Watson is a Monroe County native, growing up on a dairy farm in Sweetwater, Tennessee. He attended and played basketball for Hiwassee College, graduating in 1962. Watson went on to play for Lee University, earning a B.S. degree in Social Studies and Physical Education. While at Lee University, he entered coaching as an assistant to Dale Hughes. After college, Watson returned home to take the position as Head Coach of the girls’ basketball team at Loudon County High School. He later took over the Boys’ program and remained at Loudon for 17 years.
In 1984, Hiwassee College offered Coach Watson the position of Athletics Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach. He was excited to be given the opportunity to coach for his alma mater. Under his direction, Hiwassee won the Tennessee Junior College State title three times and qualified twice for the NJCAA National Tournament. At Hiwassee, he compiled a 152-38 record and was named Coach of the Year in 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1990. Coach Watson was an inaugural inductee into the Hiwassee College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
Coach Watson left Hiwassee College in 1990 to serve as an assistant coach at the University of Idaho. He has also served as the Head Coach at Columbia Central High School in Columbia, Tennessee and Head Coach at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where he was named the 1997 Coach of the Year for the Scenic West Athletic Conference.
Watson is excited to be back coaching at Hiwassee College. “I love Hiwassee. I love coaching here and I have a lot of friends here,” said Watson. “It’s exciting to be back. I met my wife at Hiwassee College, two of my kids went here and my father-in-law was an alumnus. Coming back to Hiwassee to coach again is a great honor. I look forward to helping raise the basketball program to another level.”
There will be a reception to welcome Coach Watson and his wife, Anna Sue, on April 1 from 4 – 6 p.m. The reception will take place in the Laycock Alumni Center and refreshments will be served. The community is encouraged to attend.