The ETSU Intercollegiate Athletics department hired Steve Forbes as its new head basketball coach.

The University fired coach Murry Bartow after a 16-16 record in his last season as head coach.

“When evaluating the state of our program, we felt that it was time to go in a new direction at the position of head basketball coach,” Athletics Director Richard Sander said.

Forbes has been assistant coach under Bruce Pearl at the University of Tennessee and under Gregg Marshall at Wichita State University.

He was head coach at Northwest Florida, where he coached the team to back-to-back national championships and had a 62-6 record in just two years.

“I am really excited to be your coach,” Forbes said. “I have coached at a lot of places and leagues, and I look forward to playing in the SOCON.”

Sander hired Forbes after Wichita State suffered a loss to Notre Dame in the Sweet 16 Thursday night.

Forbes said he has met with the team already, and assured them that just because he did not recruit them, they are his players.

“The goal is for these guys to get a ring and cut down the nets this year,” Forbes said.

“That’s not two or three years from now. It’s the goal for this upcoming year.”

Forbes said that he will try to recruit offense and coach defense, and that they will play a man-to-man defense like Pearl teams.

“We will play hard, smart, and together,” Forbes said. “We will defend and play tough disciplined man-to-man defense. The best teams defend and rebound.”

Forbes will enter the season next year in the second year of playing in Freedom Hall, which he wants to be full of blue and gold every game night. He drew special attention to when UT comes to play in the 20-2017 season.

Forbes made it a point to bring up that he has not lost a home basketball game since March 6, 2011, and that he does not want to lose at Freedom Hall.

“I encourage the students to come to every game starting in November, and for fans to buy their season tickets now, before they sell out,” said Forbes.

Forbes turned 50 on March 22.

He grew up in Lone Tree Iowa, and played college basketball at Southern Arkansas University. He is married with three children.

He began his career in the community college ranks at Southwest Community College, moving to Barton County Community College where he coached for five seasons.

He became assistant coach at Iowa in the 1998-99 season and has been assistant at six Division 1 schools including eight teams that reached the NCAA Tournament.

“I will give the coach all I can, and do whatever he wants me to do for my last year,” Buc junior forward Lester Wilson said. “I’m looking forward to the energy that he brings and giving him my all.”