MT. CARMEL - Wabash Valley College assistant men’s basketball coach Dodie Dunson has left to accept a position as the Director of Basketball Operations at Western Illinois University in Macomb.
Dunson began his duties with the NCAA Division I Leathernecks Friday.
“We didn’t want to lose Dodie. He’s been a tremendous asset to our program,” said WVC head coach Mike Carpenter, who hired Dunson after taking the position in June 2013. “But he had a very good opportunity to step into, to be an assistant at a Division I school.”
WVC was the first college coaching position for Dunson, who had previously served as an assistant at Bloomington High School before coming to Mt. Carmel.
Carpenter said losing assistant coaches “is part of the business,” and knew that a coach as good as Dunson wouldn’t be with him on the bench forever.
“We had several calls about him from several schools. It was just a matter of him taking the one that was the best opportunity for him and his family.”
Dunson, a former standout player at Bradley, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the men’s and women’s basketball program at WIU, a school of 13,600 students in the Summitt Conference.
“I’m really excited to be a part of the Western Illinois University family,” Dunson said in a quote from the WIU athletic website. “I am looking forward to working with coach (Billy) Wright and the coaching staff to continue to build a winning culture.”
Originally from Bloomington, Dunson played college basketball at Iowa State, then transferred to Vincennes University for his sophomore season. He played his last two years at Bradley, helping the Braves to a second-place finish in the College Insider Tournament.
“It all happened pretty quickly, so Dodie wasn’t able to say his goodbyes like he wanted to,” Carpenter said. “But he was very appreciative of all the support we’ve been given in town.”
Tanner Morris was recently hired as an assistant at WVC, at the time giving the Warriors a three-person staff.
NOTES: Carpenter recently signed one player, and will probably fill out the roster with his final signee next week.
Eric Hopkins, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard from Columbia, S.C., is headed to Wabash Valley. He was first-team all-state selection and averaged 21 points per game in his senior season in high school.
“I think we’ll sign another post-player on Monday,” Carpenter said.