Former CEU skipper Stubbs to be honored at SWA event
Former College of Eastern Utah head basketball coach Ronnie Stubbs will be honored during the Scenic West Athletic Conference Tournament in the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center March 4-6.
"Coaching at CEU was the most fun I have ever had in my life. I loved the challenge and especially going against Dixie, Snow and Salt Lake Community College in recruiting players," he said. "It really was a good time in my life."
Just shy of his 29th birthday in 1985, a young Stubbs took over the helm of the school's fledgling basketball program and turned it into a national powerhouse in the nine years he coached the Golden Eagles.
His appointment even garnered an article about him in USA Today.
Stubbs was appointed to the head coaching position mid-year after Coach Curt Jensen stepped down. He was Jensen's assistant. His first game as head coach was a road trip to College of Southern Idaho.
"This was my worst memory about coaching at Eastern Utah," he said. "We lost by 40 points. Joey Johnson was at CSI and had a 44-inch vertical leap. I knew then I had to work harder at recruiting better players."
On the other side of the coin, his best memory was beating Southern Idaho by one point at home a few years later. The best season his team had was posting a 26-5 record. With Stubbs in the driver's seat, Eastern Utah basketball continued to get better every year with continuous 20-plus wins each season.
"I remember the fire marshal threatened to close down the BDAC because we had too many people in the gymnasium. Every seat in the house was used and there was standing room only for Southern Idaho games," he added. "We had 10,000 people in Orem watching us play Utah Valley and 5,000 in St. George watching us play Dixie. It was an incredible run while I was coaching here."
He remembers a lot of four-year college and university coaches in the stands at the games looking at recruiting his players. Milwaukee Buck's Calvin Sampson was at Washington State, Chicago's Tim Floyd was at Iowa State as well as Villanova's Rollie Massimino who was at University of Nevada at Las Vegas, all sat in the BDAC watching Stubbs' players.
He also remembers when "little" NDJH won the Carbon and Emery championship with Tim Peczuh, Frank Campagni, Frank Kraync, Mark Badovinac, Donavon Dunbar and Mike Beacco on the team.
Still remaining in close contact with Richard and Marsha Lee, Stubbs admitted that Richard was the father figure he never had. Marsha was like my mother. Together they always took care of me and my players.
His all-time favorite team would be Kris Hill at center with Eric Talley and Junsie Cotton as shooting guards. His big guard would be William Allen, while Antoine Davidson and Johnny Selvie would be his forwards.