Waginger joins the staff of first-year head coach Mark Prosser
The Catamounts will battle #12/13 Cincinnati Monday night
Game will be televised nationwide on Fox Sports 2 at 8:30 pm
Catamounts and The Herd tip-off at 5 pm Saturday night
Catamounts and Eagles tip-off at 7:30 pm on ESPN3
Men's Basketball First Practice
WCU vs ETSU
Western Carolina at Davidson
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.
Waginger was a four-year standout for the Catamount backcourt from 2006-2010 before joining the coaching ranks in July 2011 – both playing for and coaching alongside former head men’s basketball head coach Larry Hunter. Waginger originally returned to his alma mater as the Director of Basketball Operations in 2010-11 before assuming a full-time countable coaching role with the squad prior to the 2011-12 season. Under Hunter, he spent the past four seasons as the program’s recruiting coordinator.
Waginger received national recognition in April of 2015 when he was named to the Under Armour "30-under-30" team as selected and released by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as a part of the organization's annual convention held in conjunction with the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four. The "30-under-30" team is designed to highlight and recognize up-and-coming basketball coaches across the nation.
Over his first seven seasons on the sidelines, Waginger has proven to be an asset to the program in both player development and in game planning, especially in the areas of scouting. With Waginger on the sideline under Hunter's tutelage, the Catamounts advanced to two Southern Conference tournament championship games, and following the 2015-16 regular season, earned a post-season berth for just the third time in program history by accepting a bid in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) to face fellow Catamount-moniker, Vermont.
Waginger helped mentor three former Catamount guards to All-Southern Conference plaudits including former teammate Trey Sumler in 2012-13, James Sinclair in 2014-15, and Mike Brown in 2015-16, with freshman guard Matt Halvorsen garnering SoCon All-Freshman team plaudits following last season under Waginger’s tutelage.
Known for his tough, hard-nosed play as a guard 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 Western Carolina 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 that ranked 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.
Waginger earned third-team All-Southern Conference honors from the voting media and was named the SoCon's co-Defensive Player of the Year as a senior 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 had a strong prep career at both Ironton High and South Webster High in Ohio, guiding the latter to an Ohio State Championship as a senior. He garnered Southern Ohio Conference Player of the Year accolades in the process in his final prep season after averaging 18.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 5.3 steals per game.
Waginger and the former Kortne Walsh of Hayesville, who is also a Western Carolina alum and a former Catamount cheerleader, were married in June of 2015.