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Karleskint Named GSC West Coach of the Year

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Arkansas Tech University head men's basketball coach Doug Karleskint is the 2010-11 Gulf South Conference West Division coach of the year after leading the Wonder Boys to a second consecutive GSC West regular season title.

The award caps a whirlwind year for the 31-year old rookie head coach, who was promoted to head coach at Arkansas Tech on April 16, 2010.

Karleskint joined the Wonder Boys as the top assistant coach before the 2009-10 season. He moved over to the head coach's office after Mark Downey, the 2009-10 GSC West Division coach of the year, resigned to return to his alma mater (the University of Charleston in West Virginia) and become the head coach there following a 30-2 season last year.

Karleskint inherited seven returning lettermen and three returning starters from that squad, but key contributors such as All-American Brandon Friedel, defensive stand-out Irvin Humphrey, combo guard Marcus Pillow and do-everything veteran Renard Allen had to be replaced.

The Wonder Boys started the 2010-11 season with six wins in their first eight games. They dropped an 83-76 home game against nationally-ranked Alabama-Huntsville on Dec. 16 to fall to 6-3, but the turning point came one night later.

Arkansas Tech topped North Alabama 75-57 in its final game before the holiday break. No one could have known it then, but it was the beginning of a 16-game winning streak that would carry the Wonder Boys to the GSC West Division title.

Tech finished the regular season 22-4 overall and 13-1 in the league.

The nationally ninth-ranked Wonder Boys will look for their third consecutive GSC Tournament championship this weekend in Southaven, Miss.

Arkansas Tech will take on North Alabama (13-15) in the first round of the men's tournament at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 4, at the DeSoto Civic Center.

The game can be heard in the Arkansas River Valley on KWKK 100.9 FM.

Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcast.