BUCKHANNON – The West Virginia Wesleyan Department of Athletics and Men's Head Basketball Coach Jack Meriwether are pleased to announce the hiring of Sidney Crist as the new assistant coach of the Bobcat basketball program.
Crist arrives at Wesleyan after serving a one-year stint at the University of Charleston under head coach Dwaine Osborne. Prior to that, he was a student-assistant coach for three years at Fairmont State.
"We are so happy to have Sidney join the Wesleyan basketball family," remarked Coach Meriwether. "Sidney's hard work and dedication to the game of basketball and the student-athletes he has worked with is in perfect alignment with what we value within this program. With his experience in the Mountain East Conference and his many connections across West Virginia, he will be an invaluable resource for us. I am beyond excited to add an assistant who not only shares our vision for where the program is headed, but understands the work and process that go into getting us there."
When the assistant coaching job officially opened, Coach Meriwether reached out to Crist to see if he would be interested in applying.
"I've had a great relationship with Coach Meriwether that we've built over the last couple of years," said Crist. "For me, it was the chance to become the top assistant coach at a school with great tradition, in the best conference in the country, at a very young age. More importantly, I believe in the vision and the direction Coach Meriwether has and I believe that we have the ability to win, year-in and year-out."
Crist believes his combined five years in the MEC as a coach and a player will be a huge asset to the Bobcat basketball program.
"I know this league very well," Crist said. "Furthermore, I've worked for two great coaches — Coach Jared Calhoun at Fairmont State and Coach Osborne at the University of Charleston. The things I've learned from those two are priceless."
Wesleyan finished fifth in the Mountain East Conference last year with a 13-16 overall record. Meriwether, who was named the interim coach in January, guided the Bobcats to an 8-7 record under his watch during the last two months of the season. The Bobcats lost just two players to graduation this past spring.
"I felt like Coach Meriwether did a tremendous job the second half of the season and there was a ton of young talent on the roster," stated Crist. "I think we have a great group of underclassmen who have a lot of playing experience, which is a huge advantage. If you look at the teams in this league that have won championships over the past 10 years, they're the ones that have continuity within their programs. I feel like we have a chance to have that same type of continuity over the next few seasons — and hopefully for years to come."
Crist played one year at Glenville State College and was a four-year varsity basketball player at Midland Trail High School, finishing with a career record of 62-20 as a starter. Midland Trail made the state tournament three straight years, which included a state semi-final appearance in 2012.
Crist earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from Fairmont State in May 2016.
"Being from West Virginia, I've always thought very highly of West Virginia Wesleyan in terms of athletics and academics," Crist said. "I feel like it is a NCAA Division II destination."
Crist is the son of former Midland Trail High School Head Coach Greg Crist and Jody Crist of Ansted, W. Va.
Crist can be reached via email at Crist.firstname.lastname@example.org.