#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#AFTER a brief hiatus to coach at the high school and club level while improving on his golf game, former Bahamian national coach Edrick ‘Drips’ Poitier has returned to coaching at the collegiate level.
#Yesterday morning, Poitier was named the head coach of the Bowie State women’s volleyball programme, according to vice president for intercollegiate athletics and recreation Clyde Doughty Jr.
#“After an intensive search it is with great excitement that coach Edric Poitier has accepted the position as the next head volleyball coach for Bowie State University,” said Doughty, Jr.
#“Coach Poitier brings a wealth of experience in the field of volleyball. He is a CIAA veteran and wholly understands what it takes to manage a quality programme that will be competitive in the CIAA and NCAA.”
#Poitier spent the past season as the head coach at a private high school in Jacksonville, Florida, where he guided the programme to a 19-7 overall record and a quarterfinal appearance in the Florida State District Championship.
#Prior to his high school tenure, Poitier did a one-year stint at Florida State College at Jacksonville in 2019, before serving as the head coach at Savannah State from 2016-2018; Bluefield State College (2013-2016) and Winston- Salem State (2010-2012).
#“I would like to express sincere gratitude to VP for Athletics, Mr Doughty Jr and President Dr Breaux for the opportunity to lead the programme at this time in its development,” said Poitier.
#“I look forward to trying to make the programme a viable one within the conference.”
#Poitier said when he saw the coaching job available, he applied because he felt it was one of the schools that had the potential to make it to the NCAA Division II Championships.
#“This court is the court where I won my first CIAA Championship back in 2000 with St Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina, so he said the scenario brought back a lot of memories. “My goal is to take a CIAA team to the NCAA and hopefully be a contender for the national title,” he said.
#“No school in the CIAA has done it before and when I was with St Aug, that was one of my goals. Hopefully, I can do it with Bowie State.”
#Poitier, however, said his new coaching role is bitter-sweet because it will limit the free time he had to work on his golf game, but he noted that at some point, he realises that he will have to give up some things to pursue his coaching career.
#With over 23 years of experience coaching at the collegiate level, one of the most appealing factors about Poitier was that he is no stranger to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Conference.
#Poitier’s record of accomplishments emphasized on rebuilding programmes as he started his head-coaching career with St Augustine’s College (now St Augustine University), posting a 113-34 record in five seasons at the helm.
#In his first year, he went 14-13 overall, including a 14-6 mark in conference play. The next four seasons (2000-2003), Poitier recorded 20-plus wins and a conference championship in each season. Poitier went 23-6, including a 19-2 mark in conference play, a conference title and CIAA Coach of the Year in 2000, followed up with a 22-7 overall record, including a perfect 21-0 conference record and CIAA Championship, first round appearance in the NCAA Regionals in 2001.
#Poitier guided the Lady Falcons to a 29-3 overall record and 21-0 mark in CIAA action to go along with the programme’s third-straight CIAA title while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Regionals in 2002.
#In his last season at the helm, St Augustine’s posted a 25-5 overall record extending its win-streak to 63-straight wins over CIAA opponents (21- 0), a CIAA championship and the 2003 CIAA Coach of the Year award. Overall, his five-year stint with the Lady Falcons, he compiled a 115-35 overall record and a 99-8 record. He is a three-time CIAA Coach of the Year and is still the only CIAA coach to ever win an NCAA Tournament First Round match.
#Poitier coached the Bahamas women’s national team for nine years from 1992-99 and led the team to two gold medals and three silver medals at the Regional Caribbean Volleyball Championships and was the assistant coach from 1989-92.
#Poitier played on the Bahamas men’s national team as a setter for 13 years from 1979-92 and won the bronze medal at Commonwealth Volleyball Championship in London in 1981.
#Poitier is a 2003 graduate of Saint Augustine’s College with a degree in criminal justice. He is married and the father of three children.
#The Bowie State women’s volleyball programme is slated to begin the 2022 campaign on September 6 at Delaware State.
#“Right now, I’m in the process of trying to fill a roster,” Poitier said. “The roster they had was not where the athletic director wants it to be. That was why they looked for a new coach.
#“So my plans is to try and find at least 5-6 players that I can bring in here on a short notice. There are a lot of players in the NCAA transfer portal, who are looking for a place to go.
#“So I’ve been trying to find players who are from this area, who might want to come back home and play here. That has been my focus so that I can get the team ready to play.”
#Unfortunately, Poitier said there are no plans to recruit any Bahamian players for the upcoming season because the deadline for the paperwork for international players has already expired, so they will have to wait until next year. “I know next year, I will have to fill a completely new roster so I definitely will be looking to see who is available from the Bahamas to play on the team,” Poitier said.
#He noted that Doughty Jr has welcomed him with open arms and he’s looking forward to making his contribution to Bowie State where he feels he has as legitimate chance of winning a national title, as opposed to coaching at the division one level where schools spend the big bucks to get the best players available.
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