Background: Coach EarlywinePosted: Updated:
CHENEY, Wash. - Earlywine was hired by UNCW skipper Benny Moss, who took over the program on April 20, 2006. "Kirk is a tremendous student of the game," said Moss at the time of Earlywine's hiring. "He's a very good teacher, motivator and an evaluator of talent. He has worked for some of the best basketball minds in the business. We're very fortunate to have him join our staff here at UNCW."
Earlywine served the previous seven seasons at Weber State, where the Wildcats averaged 17 victories and racked up more wins (116) than any other school in the Big Sky Conference. Earlywine teamed with head coach Joe Cravens to produce only the second undefeated season in Big Sky history in 2002-03 with a storybook 14-0 campaign in Ogden.
Prior to his stint at Weber State, Earlywine coached three seasons with Ric Cobb at Wisconsin-Milwaukee following a one-year tenure as the head coach at Pfeiffer in Misenheimer, N.C. The Falcons registered a 21-8 record in their first season of NCAA Division II competition under Earlywine, placing third in the South Atlantic Region and upsetting 12th-ranked N.C. Central in the post-season playoffs.
An Indiana native, Earlywine played one season of college hoops as a point guard for Billy Lee at Pembroke before following Lee to Campbell as a student assistant coach. In 1986-87, the Camels recorded their first winning record in Division I action with a 17-13 mark, finishing 10-4 in the Big South Conference.
Earlywine's first full-time post came in 1987-88 under the colorful Rick Majerus at Ball State. He worked two seasons for Majerus in Muncie, Ind., including an outstanding campaign in 1988-89 that featured the Mid-American Conference title, a 29-3 record and a first-round victory over Pittsburgh in the NCAA Tournament.
Earlywine then followed Majerus to Utah in 1989-90 and stayed four seasons. In his second year in Salt Lake City, the Utes went 30-4, captured the Western Athletic Conference title and reached the "Sweet Sixteen" with a sterling 30-4 record. Utah advanced to the NIT Final Four in 1991-92 and captured the WAC championship once again in 1992-93.
His next stop as an assistant came in 1993-94 when Earlywine served on Leonard Drake's staff at Central Michigan. He spent two seasons with the Chippewas before landing his first head coaching job at Pfeiffer, where one of Earlywine's assistants was a young Benny Moss.
"Benny is a very good basketball coach and an even better person," said Earlywine. "He's just an outstanding human being and that was a big factor in my decision to come to Wilmington."
Earlywine earned his bachelor of science degree in physical education from Campbell in 1987. He is single and was born July 4, 1964.