MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Wiley Brown from Indiana University Southeast has been selected as the 2022-23 River States Conference Coach of Character Award winner. The men’s basketball coach of the Grenadiers in his 16th year at the school was chosen by the RSC Champions of Character Committee for the honor.
The RSC Coach of Character award is patterned after the NAIA award of the same name. It is given annually to a head coach who has been outstanding in embracing the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program using methods of teaching character through sport and in community leadership through volunteering or service.
The five character values of NAIA Champions of Character are Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Servant Leadership and Sportsmanship. The award was first established in the conference in 2015-16. As the conference honoree, Brown will have his name forwarded to the national level as a nominee for the NAIA Coach of Character Award.
Brown displayed great character during the 2022-23 season as he always has throughout his career. The Grenadiers basketball team also had to face tragedy when team member Ahmad Price passed away just before the season and the fall 2022 semester.
Brown led the Grenadiers through the difficult process after the loss of a teammate while caring for the individuals on the team beyond basketball. Through it all, IU Southeast came through with a great season with Brown at the helm. The Grenadiers went on to win the RSC Championship with a big winning streak and an impressive postseason run carrying them to the NAIA national tournament. Brown was named RSC Coach of the Year, and IU Southeast had a 23-9 record for the season.
Coach of Character Award nominees are asked to display ways in which they teach character within their team. Brown gathers the team each week for a team check in going through each individual. The time is used to address school and personal struggles. It helps to connect the team members to each other and allows for sharing of advice. It also allows the older members of the team to take on leadership and mentorship roles to help their teammates.
Also required is to show how character is taught through sport. Brown’s teams build character with the free throw unity drill. The drill creatures an environment that nurtures teamwork. By emphasizing communication, support and accountability, the drill cultivates a unified and cohesive team on and off the court. As players strengthen their connections and deepen their understanding of one another’s strengths and weaknesses, they become more cohesive and capable of achieving collective success.
YEAR BY YEAR — RIVER STATES CONFERENCE COACH OF CHARACTER AWARD WINNERS
2015-16 — Samantha DeMartine (Asbury University), Softball Head Coach
2016-17 — Tiffani Selhorst (IU East), Women’s Basketball Head Coach
2017-18 — Chris Hammond (Rio Grande), Softball Head Coach
2018-19 — John Mills (Alice Lloyd), Women’s Basketball Head Coach
2019-20 — Will Shouse (Asbury), Men’s Basketball Head Coach
2020-21 — Sherrill Smith (Midway), Women’s Soccer Head Coach
2021-22 — Ken French (Oakland City), Men’s Basketball Head Coach
2022-23 — Wiley Brown (IU Southeast), Men’s Basketball Head Coach