Olivet College

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Final tributes to an inspirational coach

I only knew Charlie Coles through my high school basketball coach, Ed Rachel — the two were friends who regularly met and talked shop. I never met him in person but can only imagine that Coles, who died June 7 at age 71, is again talking shop with the late Rachel, who died a couple of years ago. Before he retired in 2012 as Miami of Ohio’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach (355-208), and the Mid-American Conference-wins leader as well, Coles was a successful prep basketball coach at Saginaw (Mich.) High School (1972-82) and led teams to two state title games in the mid-1970s. He then moved on, first to Central Michigan in 1985 for six seasons, then back to high school coaching in Toledo, returning to his college alma mater in 1994 as an assistant, followed by 16 seasons as head coach. There he coached former Minnesota Mr. Basketball Robert Mestas of Minneapolis Roosevelt, who attended his college coach’s June 13th funeral and spoke to us afterwards. Continue Reading →

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