MAN OF STEAL

A former defensive standout has a new role with the men’s basketball team

By DANIEL HOOKER ’01

Former Catamount point guard Brigham Waginger ’10 has gone from being “floor general” for the men’s basketball team to serving as one of three top lieutenants under Head Coach Larry Hunter. Waginger, who spent the 2010-11 season as director of basketball operations, was promoted by Hunter to the position of full-time assistant coach on his staff for the coming season.

New assistant basketball coach Brigham Waginger ’10 (left) joins fellow former
Catamount players Anquell McCollum ’01 (center) and Eric Wilson ’08 (right)
on Larry Hunter’s staff.

Waginger replaces former assistant coach Andre Gray, who took a position at the University of North Carolina Wilmington following last season. With Waginger’s addition, all three of Hunter’s current assistants are WCU alumni, as he joins Anquell McCollum ’01 and Eric Wilson ’08.

“It is with great pleasure that I am able to elevate Brigham Waginger to a full-time position on our basketball staff,” said Hunter, entering his seventh year at the helm in Cullowhee. “Brigham is a talented young coach who has a relentless work ethic and passion for the game. His personality, tenacity, people skills, loyalty and love for both our program and Western Carolina will enable him to be a tremendous representative and salesman for our program.”

As director of basketball operations, Waginger was primarily responsible for many of the day-to-day operations of the team, including travel, while also assisting in video exchange.

“Brigham has a terrific understanding of our system and has gained valuable experience working in the office assisting our staff in all phases of our operation last season. His high character and many accomplishments at Western Carolina both as a student and a former athlete have allowed him to gain the respect of our players,” Hunter said.

Known for his tough, hard-nosed play on the court during his four-year career at WCU, Waginger finished with 810 points, including 27 double-digit scoring outings. He shattered the school’s benchmark for steals by 64, finishing with 285 career thefts, well above the previous record of 221 steals held by WCU Hall of Famer Henry Logan.

A native of South Webster, Ohio, Waginger finished his WCU career as both the school’s career and single-season steals leader, with his name attached to three of the top four single-season steals performances. His 285 career steals rank third in Southern Conference history.

Coming off its third straight winning season – and second conference divisional championship in the past three years – Western Carolina will open team preparations for the 2011-12 season in October.