Photo Courtesy of Viking Athletics

Dennis Felton, the new men's basketball coach at Cleveland State, who last was the assisstant coach at the University of Tulsa, said he looks forward to a competitive era for the team.


April 18, 2017

Felton ushers in new era of CSU basketball

Men’s basketball at Cleveland State University will have a new head coach roaming the benches next season. Dennis Felton replaced Gary Waters after Waters retired after being with Cleveland State for eleven years.

Dennis Felton, the new coach of the men’s basketball team at Cleveland State University, emphasized that confidence in his experience and ability will help him to develop a program that will take the university back to the NCAA tournament.

To guide Cleveland State back to the NCAA tournament, Felton said he is self-assured his experience and knowledge of the game will help him reach that goal.

“The confidence comes that I’m confident in what I’m doing. I’m confident in myself in terms that I know how to do it,” Felton said, adding that his confidence comes from knowing how to build a championship program.

Felton, 53, got his head coaching career started in 1998 with Western Kentucky. In the span of three seasons between 2000-2003, Felton had 20 plus wins and took his teams to the Round of 64 of the NCAA tournament. Felton’s next position came in Athens, GA as the head coach at the University of Georgia. At Georgia, Felton did not enjoy much success as he had at Western Kentucky, finishing with an overall record of 84-91.

After a brief stint as an assistant coach at the University of Tulsa, Felton found himself serving as a scout for the National Basketball Association’s Phoenix Suns, a position he held for one year.

Prior to the start of the 2010 NBA season, Felton was hired to be director of pro player personal for the San Antonio Spurs, who also are part of the NBA.

Felton said he is excited to be in Cleveland and finds competition the most challenging aspect of coaching.

“The challenge—one of the biggest reasons I enjoy coaching is the competition,” Felton said,  “and everything is a competition, starting with recruiting and then developing your program to the point where you can beat people and win championships.”

As Felton settles in to what he called a crucial summer ahead of him, it’s important to him that he uses this time to build relationships with his players and more important, helping them become better players overall, whether that means improving their game or working out at the gym.


Felton, who has already began meeting with the players and will soon begin recruiting, said he is hoping to make Cleveland State the top team in the Horizon League


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