J.T. Blair has been named the new assistant men's basketball coach at Lees-McRae College, announced head coach Steve Hardin Tuesday.
"I coached against J.T. when he was playing and saw the passion he had for the game of basketball," said Hardin.
"J.T. brings energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge to our basketball program. I am extremely excited to have Coach Blair on my first staff here at LMC. I know J.T. is a "basketball junkie" and an up in coming young coach that will work extremely hard for this program, but more importantly I know Coach Blair is a great person of character."
Blair comes to Lees-McRae from Charleston Southern University, where he served as the director of basketball operations for two years. Prior to his appointment at Charleston, Blair was a four-year starter on the King College men's basketball team, leading the Tornado to three consecutive Appalachian Athletic Conference titles while earning all-AAC Tournament honors.
"I would like to thank [head coach] Steve Hardin, and [athletic director] Craig McPhail, for the opportunity to join the basketball staff at Lees-McRae College," said Blair. "I look forward to helping our student-athletes achieve their goals on the court and in the classroom, as well as help guide them and prepare them for their lives post graduation."
The Knoxville, Tenn. native was a two-year captain at King, leading the Tornado to a memorable win over NCAA Division I and Southern Conference powerhouse Appalachian State University, as well as a runner-up finish in the 2009-2010 NCCAA National Tournament.
Blair began his playing career at the Webb School in Knoxville, Tenn., where he was a four-year starter for long-time head coach Larry Daniels. A two-time all-region selection at Webb, Blair poured in over 1,600 points during his career. Blair received a Bachelor of Science in sports management from King in 2010.
"The campus is absolutely beautiful, and everybody has been so welcoming," praised Blair. "I am honored to represent Lees-McRae. With Coach Hardin, Coach Wilmoth, and the current players on our roster, I feel we have what it takes to be competitive in the Conference Carolinas and in NCAA Division II. I cannot wait to get started and build on the momentum from the second half of the 2011-12 season."
Photo Courtesy: J.T. Blair, LMC Athletics