VC names new men’s head basketball coach

VICTORIA, Texas — David Graves feels he’s prepared to take the next step in his basketball-coaching career.

Graves, 31, was announced the new men’s head basketball coach at Victoria College on Wednesday, and said he is ready to help make the Pirates a force in Region XIV’s South Zone when VC enters its second season as a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

“This is just an honor and a blessing, and I just thank Victoria College for allowing me to take this next step in my career,” said Graves, who guided Waelder High School to a 33-6 record, District 30-1A title and a regional tournament appearance last season. “This is the reason I went out and got my master’s degree, to become a collegiate basketball coach. It’s kind of surreal for me.”

Graves played high school basketball at Eustace before an outstanding four-year playing career at NAIA Lincoln Christian (Ill.) University. Graves averaged a team-best 12.2 points per game as a senior at Lincoln Christian en route to earning first-team all-region honors.

Graves earned his bachelor’s degree at Lincoln Christian and obtained a master’s degree from Arkansas State University, where he served as a graduate assistant coach for the men’s basketball team.

During the 2015-18 seasons, Graves was the head coach at North Zulch High School, where he compiled 57 wins and guided the Bulldogs to two consecutive playoff appearances.

Graves said he is familiar with the style of play at the JUCO level after growing up in East Texas and following the Trinity Valley Community College program.

“I understand this conference and the kind of players who can come through here,” Graves said. “This was a challenge I wanted to accept. I want to transform Victoria College basketball into what the school and the community want it to be. It can be done, and when it does happen, it’s going to be something beautiful.”

The Pirates were 0-24 in their debut season in the NJCAA. The COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the recruiting process, but Graves said he is already busy revamping VC’s roster.

“I know we’re going to look completely different,” Graves said. “I know that we are going to fit into our conference talent-wise and size-wise this year.”

Graves said he will stress defense to his players.

“We are going to play 94 feet and get up in your face and make you uncomfortable,” Graves said. “We’re going to bring a style of play that the conference hasn’t seen in a while. We’ll flow everything off our defense.”

Graves’ top priority is to see that his players complete their education.

“I want players who want to get degrees,” Graves said. “They are here to grow as men and realize their full potential not only as athletes, but more importantly as students. Some will be first-generation graduates. I want to bring hard-working young men in here who are not all about themselves, but also excited about helping Victoria College take that next step.”


Courtesy: Victoria College Athletics