Karleskint Named Wonder Boys Head Coach

Doug Karleskint was promoted to head men’s basketball coach at Arkansas Tech University during a press conference at Russellville Country Club on Friday morning.

Karleskint, 30, becomes the 21st head men’s basketball coach in Arkansas Tech history. He succeeds Mark Downey, who resigned on Monday to accept the head coaching position for the men’s basketball program at his alma mater — the University of Charleston (W. Va.).

“This is a great job, and it’s a great job because of the guy I worked for the last year,” said Karleskint. “Coach Downey is going to be a tough act to follow. I’m from Kansas. When Roy Williams left Kansas to go to his alma mater, Bill Self came in and won a national championship. That’s what I plan to do here at Arkansas Tech. We’ll do it with character, chemistry and commitment.”

Karleskint was Downey’s top assistant in 2009-10. Prior to joining the Arkansas Tech coaching staff, Karleskint served on the staffs at Stephen F. Austin University, Northwest Missouri State University, Georgetown College (Ky.) and Fort Scott Community College.

A native of Fort Scott, Kan., Karleskint graduated from Fort Scott High School in 1998. He was a three-sport star in high school, earning all-state honors in football, basketball and baseball.

Karleskint played junior college basketball and baseball at Fort Scott Community College before transferring to East Central University (Okla.) for one season. He finished his playing career and earned his degree from MidAmerica Nazarane University (Kan.) in 2003.

He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Fort Scott Community College in 2003-04. Karleskint was an assistant at Georgetown College in 2004-05 before moving on to NCAA Division II member Northwest Missouri State for a graduate assistant position.

Karleskint helped Northwest Missouri State win 20 games in both of his seasons with the Bearcats, and NWMSU was the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular season champion in 2006-07.

From there, Karleskint moved on to NCAA Division I member Stephen F. Austin University for a two-year stint on head coach Danny Kasper’s staff. The Lumberjacks were 50-14 and won back-to-back Southland Conference titles during Karleskint’s two years in Nacogdoches, Texas.

While at Stephen F. Austin, Karleskint had an opportunity to coach teams that competed in the 2008 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and the 2009 NCAA Tournament.

He was hired as the assistant coach at Arkansas Tech in summer 2009. Karleskint helped the Wonder Boys finish 30-2 overall, win the Gulf South Conference West Division championship, win the GSC Tournament title and advance to the second round of the 2010 NCAA Division II Tournament.

Arkansas Tech was ranked No. 1 in seven of the 15 NCAA Division II top 25 national polls during the 2009-10 season. The Wonder Boys’ run of six consecutive weeks atop the poll in January and February┬áis the longest such run by any GSC men’s basketball team in the 40-year history of the conference.

Karleskint is married to the former Kyla Boots of Fort Scott, Kan. They have a 2-year old son, Jadin.

Check back with www.arkansastechnews.com later for video from the press conference.