The WCU men's basketball team opened up the 2012-13 season officially with its first practice of the season in the Ramsey Center, Friday evening.
Former point guard for the Western Carolina men's basketball team, Brigham Waginger was promoted to full-time assistant coach on head coach Larry Hunter's staff on July 1, 2011. Waginger spent the 2010-11 season as the Director of Basketball Operations.
With Waginger's addition to Hunter's full-time staff, all three of his current assistants are WCU alum joining Anquell McCollum (1993-96) and Eric Wilson (2004-08) - who like Waginger played for Hunter in the Purple & Gold.
"It is with great pleasure to be able to elevate Brigham Waginger to a full time position on our basketball staff," said Hunter, who is entering his seventh year at the helm in Cullowhee. "Brigham is a talented young coach who has a relentless work ethic and passion for the game. His personality, tenacity, people skills, loyalty and love for both our program and Western Carolina will enable him to be a tremendous representative and salesman for our program."
He added, "Brigham has a terrific understanding of our system and has gained valuable experience working in the office assisting our staff in all phases of our operation last season. His high character and many accomplishments at Western Carolina both as a student and a former athlete have allowed him to gain the respect of our players."
As the Director of Basketball Operations, Waginger was primarily responsible for many of the day-to-day operations of the team including travel while also assisting in video exchange.
Known for his tough, hard-nosed play on the court during his four-year career at WCU, Waginger finished with 810 points including 27 double-digit scoring outings. He shattered the school's career benchmark for steals by 64, finishing with 285 career thefts, well above the previous record of 221 steals held by WCU Hall of Famer, Henry Logan. His 285 career steals rank third in SoCon history.
A native of South Webster, Ohio, Waginger finished his WCU career as both the school's career and single-season (90) steals leader with his name occupying three of the top four single-season steals performances.
Offensively, Waginger connected on 165 3-pointers to rank sixth on WCU's career 3-pointers made ledger at the time of his graduation. He additionally finished his career ranked ninth in career assists with 398 over his four years in Cullowhee.
As a senior, Waginger earned third team All-Southern Conference honors from the voting media and was named the SoCon's co-Defensive Player of the Year after pacing the league in steals for a third-straight season - the first player to ever do so and just the second player to lead the SoCon in steals three-times in a four-year career. He was additionally selected to the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Defensive All-America team as he helped guide WCU to 22 seasonal victories - the most since moving to NCAA Division I - and returned the Catamounts back to post-season play for the first time since 1996.
During his junior year in 2008-09, Waginger helped the Catamounts to a share of the SoCon North Division Crown. He scored a career-high 22 points including nailing a career-best seven 3-pointers in the home finale victory over Chattanooga which secured the share of the divisional title.
Prior to coming to Western Carolina, Waginger guided South Webster HS to an Ohio State Championship as a senior, garnering Southern Ohio Conference Player of the Year accolades in the process after averaging 18.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 5.3 steals per game.
Coming off its third-straight winning season - and second conference divisional championship in the past three years - Western Carolina will open team preparations for the 2011-12 season in October, 2011.
Playing Career Bio:
Career Notes: Finished his four-year career with 810 points including 27 double-digit scoring outings ... Shattered the school's career benchmark for steals by 64, finishing with 285 career thefts (previous record was 221 by Henry Logan) ... His 285 career steals ranks third in SoCon history ... Finished his WCU career as both the school's career and single-season (90) steals leader ... With 165 made career 3-pointers, was ranked sixth in career 3-pointers made at the time of his graduation ... Finished his career ranked ninth in career assists with 398 over his four years in Cullowhee.
2009-10 (Senior): Only Catamount to start all 34 games on the season, averaging 34.1 minutes on the court per game to rank fifth in the Southern Conference ... Was named Southern Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in steals for a third-straight season - the first player to ever do so and just the second player to lead the league in steals three times in a four-year career ... Earned third-team All-SoCon honors from the media ... Selected to the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Defensive All-America Team ... Was additionally tabbed as the team's Most Valuable Player for 2009-10 ... Broke his own WCU single-season record with 90 steals during his final collegiate season, surpassing the previous mark of 81 set the previous season ... His 2.6 steals per game average ranked seventh nationally in the final NCAA statistics, which also helped the Catamounts finish seventh as a team with a 9.4 steals per game average ... Broke the school record for career steals at the 12:34 mark at No. 23 Clemson as he picked the Tigers' David Potter's pocket near mid-court ... Ranked third in the Southern Conference in assists, dishing out a career-high 151 for an average of 4.4 per game, which also had him third on the assists-to-turnovers ratio stat column ... On the year, recorded two-or-more steals 26 times including matching his career-best of seven steals against Chattanooga.
2008-09 (Junior): One of just two players to start all 31 games on the season ... Ranked fourth on the team in scoring with an 8.4 points per game average ... Led the squad with a then WCU single-season record 81 steals, eclipsing the record with four thefts in the regular season finale against Chattanooga ... Paced the Southern Conference - and ranked 10th nationally - with a 2.6 steal-per-game average ... Also led the team with 102 assists on the season, averaging 3.3 per game to rank fourth in the Southern Conference ... Posted a 1.5 assist-to-turnover ration to rank third in the league, while his 31.8 minutes per game average was seventh-best in the SoCon ... Scored five points in the starting role at No. 2 Connecticut, dishing out a team-high four assists ... Scored 11 points and dished out six assists against Toccoa Falls in the home opener ... Attempted a career-high tying 10 field goals against TFC - ironically enough, his previous career-high of 10 also came against Toccoa Falls back in 2006 ... Averaged 5.3 points during the Great Alaska Shootout, dishing out 10 assists, including matching a season-high with six against Louisiana Tech ... Led WCU in scoring with his first-career, 20-point performance with a career-best 20 points in the overtime win at Kent State ... Scored in double-digits with a dozen on 4-of-7 shooting - all 3-pointers for a career-best ... Scored a SoCon-career high 13 points, including three 3-pointers, in the home win over Georgia Southern ... Scored 10 points and had six steals, including one inside the final 20 seconds that helped seal the home win over College of Charleston ... Had one of his most solid all-around games in the road win at UNC Greensboro, scoring 10 points with a team-high eight rebounds, six assists and six steals ... Scored a career-high 22 points, draining a career-best seven 3-pointers in the home win over Chattanooga that clinched a share of the North Division title.
2007-08 (Sophomore): Appeared in all 31 games, making 14 starts in his second season ... Averaged 4.7 points per game ... Dished out 69 assists on the season, averaging a team-best 2.2 per game ... His 69 steals on the year ranked as the second-best, single-season in school history ... Led the Southern Conference and ranked 23rd nationally with 2.23 steals per game average ... Played only four games without tallying a steal on the season ... In the season-opening win over Bowling Green, set then career highs in points (15), field goals made (5), three-pointers made (3), and rebounds (8) ... Pulled down five rebounds and swiped three steals in 32 minutes of action at Cincinnati ... Set season highs with five assists and five steals as the starting point guard in the home win over Presbyterian ... Just missed double-digits with nine points - all coming from beyond the 3-point arc - at Chattanooga ... Set careeer and SoCon-career highs with seven steals and seven assists to accompany three points and three rebounds without committing a single turnover in the home win over Elon ... Recorded five steals against Chattanooga, his second-highest total for the season, while also hitting two key three-pointers for six total points in the victory ... Posted his second double-digit scoring outing of the season with a SoCon career-best 12 points, including three, 3-pointers at Georgia Southern ... Was on the floor for all 40 minutes of the game against College of Charleston, tallying four rebounds and his ninth-straight outing with at least one steal ... Hit two big 3-pointers en route to scoring eight points in the home win over Wofford ... Played all 40 minutes against Wofford marking the second-time this season he had played start-to-finish.
2006-07 (Freshman): Saw action in all 31 games of his freshman season, and started 13 of those contests including 12-straight to end the season when senior guard Kyle Greathouse was sidelined ... Averaged 3.7 ppg and was second on the team with a total of 45 steals ... Also took good care of the rock only averaging 1.25 turnovers in his 31 games including seven with no giveaways ... At #22 Clemson, played a career-high 31 minutes, making a 3-pointer and handing out three assists ... Saw extra court time at Chattanooga after Greathouse suffered an ankle injury six minutes into the contest - responded with a SoCon-high 10 points and tied for the team-high with seven rebounds ... Made his first collegiate career start at Appalachian State ... Tied his career-best with seven rebounds at Davidson ... Set career-highs against overtime win versus Wofford with seven assists, seven steals, and tied a career-high with seven boards while only committing one turnover in 40 minutes during his third start of the season.
Prior to Western: As a senior, named Southeast District Division IV co-Player of the Year and Southern Ohio Conference Player of the Year ... Tabbed first team All-Ohio Division IV ... Scored 20 points and hit 9-of-11 shots from the field against Columbus Grove as South Webster won the Division IV state championship and capped a 27-2 record for the season ... Also named to the All-Tournament team at the state championships ... Averaged 18.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 5.3 steals during his senior season ... His 163 assists and 149 steals as a senior are both school records ... Tabbed first team All-District 14 by the Coaches Association ... Coached by Marc Kreischer at South Webster High. ... As a junior, played at Ironton HS: Led the Tigers to the Division III state final as a junior, making him one of just three players to play in the state final for two different teams ... AP Ohio Division III Special Mention All-State in 2005 and Honorable Mention in 2004 ... Additionally tabbed AP Division III all-district first team as a junior.
Personal: Born Brigham Kyle Waginger in August, 1987 in Huntington, W.Va. ... Son of John and Jeanette Waginger.