Dennis Felton joined the Tulsa men's basketball program in April of 2014.
Felton brings 24 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 10 full seasons as a head coach at Western Kentucky and Georgia. His teams won seven conference championships in those 10 full seasons, and reached the postseason six times. The 2002 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year coached in four NCAA Tournaments and two NIT appearances.
He coached Georgia from 2003-09, leading the Bulldogs to the 2008 SEC Tournament Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. As head coach of Western Kentucky from 1998-03, he led the Hilltoppers to six straight conference championships and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2001-03. He compiled a 187-154 record in 11 years as a head coach.
Felton worked for the San Antonio Spurs from 2010-13 as the Director of Pro Player Personnel. Prior to that stint, he worked for the Phoenix Suns from 2009-10 as a college and pro scout.
In his first season in 2003-04, the Bulldogs won 16 games with a squad comprised of just seven scholarship players and a slew of walk-ons. In addition, they had to replace nearly 50 points per game from the previous season, a significant void for any program, let alone one with a new coach.
Two years later Georgia posted a 15-15 record, and in 2006-07 went 19-14 and advanced to the second round of the NIT. The first round NIT victory that season was the program's first postseason tournament win in nine years.
In 2008, the Bulldogs earned the SEC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the SEC Tournament title in spectacular fashion. With only eight healthy scholarship players, Georgia won four straight games in Atlanta to claim the SEC title. After a tornado tore a hole in the Georgia Dome, the Bulldogs were forced to win three games in a little over 24 hours, including two games in one afternoon.
In 2003 Felton became the first coach in Western Kentucky history to take three straight teams to the NCAA Tournament. In five seasons at WKU, he compiled a 100-54 overall record (.649 pct.), including a 76-20 mark since the 2001 season. The Hilltoppers earned each of those three NCAA berths automatically by winning the Sun Belt Conference tournament, lastly the `03 tourney on their home floor. Felton left the nation's longest home-court winning streak when he left for Georgia following the 2003 season. He started his tenure at WKU as the youngest head coach in school history, and left as the third winningest coach in Sun Belt Conference history.
Among the student-athletes under Felton's guidance at Western Kentucky, 100 percent of them graduated and all except two -- a pair he inherited in 1998 - completed their degrees on time.
Before he became a head coach, Felton climbed the collegiate ladder in a series of assistant jobs. He began at the University of Delaware for four seasons (1986-90) before one season each at Tulane and St. Joseph's.
In 1992 he took an assistant's post at Providence under Rick Barnes. That season began a 6-year apprenticeship with Barnes that included two with the Friars and four at Clemson University (1994-98).
The six teams that Barnes and Felton coached together all posted winning seasons (including three 20-win campaigns), all played in the postseason (four NCAA berths, two in the NIT) and went 114-71, averaging 19 wins per year. In 1997 the Tigers went 21-8 and reached the NCAA Sweet 16.
Also in 2001 Felton began to broaden his coaching horizons when he served as a court coach during the USA Basketball National Team trials. That relationship continued in `03, when he was an assistant coach for the American team at the Junior World Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece. That squad, under head coach Ernie Kent of Oregon, won 12 of its 13 contests, including a 7-1 mark in the World tournament.
In the spring of 2005, Felton was named as an assistant coach for the U.S. team at the Under 21 World Championships in Argentina. It is considered one of the world's most important non-Olympic basketball competitions. They finished 7-1 at that tournament as well.
Felton got his start in the coaching profession as an assistant at Oxon Hill ( Md.) High School in 1984. He then became an assistant coach at Charles County Community College (now the College of Southern Maryland) in LaPlata, Md., for one season (1985-86) before moving on to Delaware.
His father's career in the U.S. Air Force provided Felton an adventurous early childhood. Born in Tokyo, he spent his early years living in and visiting a variety of locales around the world. His family eventually moved to Clinton, Md., a surburb of Washington, D.C.
A star athlete at Surrattsville ( Md.) High School in Clinton, Md., Felton played at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Md.. He completed his athletic and academic careers at Howard University, where he was a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference All-Academic selection. He is a cum laude graduate of Howard (1985) with a degree in radio/television and film production.
Felton and his wife, Melanie, have two sons: 20-year-old Jazz and 17-year-old Nile.
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