Jim Boone enters his sixth season (94-57) as head coach of the Delta State University Statesman Basketball program. Boone (524-387), a native of Winfield, W.V., brings 32 years of collegiate coaching experience to Delta State, including stops at the NCAA Division I and II levels. His career record speaks to his success on the hardwood, but his real niche has been at the NCAA DII level where he has posted a 432-223 mark as a head coach.
Coming off the 2016-17 season, the Winfield, W.V., native led the Statesmen to one of the best seasons since 2013-14, as Delta State went 23-9 overall. The Statesmen made it to the second round of the GSC Tournament and the second round of the South Regionals where they ultimately fell to Rollins College. During the postseason, Schmidt became the GSC all-time leading scorer with 2,594 points as well as being named First Team All-GSC, First Team All-South Region and NABC All-America Team. Schmidt also participated in the NABC/Reeses Division II All-Star Game.
Senior power forward Willie Readus was named GSC Player of the Year, while point guard Devin Schmidt was selected the GSC Freshman of the Year. The duo both earned All-GSC first team accolades. Readus was a consensus first team All-South Region selection by Daktronics and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, while Schmidt was named second team.
Several individual marks also fell during the season, as senior guard Cornel Knight cracked the school’s career top 10 list for assists with 249 and sophomore shooting guard Jack Madgen climbed in the career charts for made 3-pointers with 95.
His second season is where Delta State made the most ground. Boone led the Statesmen to one of the best seasons in program history in 2013-2014 with a 26-7 overall record. The Statesmen captured the Gulf South Conference regular season title, made a run to the NCAA Sweet 16 and finished the year ranked No. 12 in the country. For his efforts, Boone’s peers named him GSC Coach of the Year; the seventh time in his career he has captured such an honor.
In 2014-15, Boone turned in one of his best coaching jobs yet, battling several key injuries and setbacks to lead the Statesmen to the postseason for a second-straight year. Led by All-American Devin Schmidt, DSU won 15 games and finished in the quarterfinals of the GSC Tournament.
This past season, Boone reached two career milestones: 400 NCAA Div. II wins against North Alabama (1.2.16) and 500 career wins against Lee (2.20.16). He also coached Delta State (19-11) to its second conference semifinal game in three years and was one victory away from recording his 11th career 20-win season. Following the season, Devin Schmidt was also named NABC All-American, D2CCA All-American, South Region Player of the Year and Gulf South Conference Player of the Year. Schmidt also became the leading scorer in DSU history (1873 points) at Mississippi College.
Prior to taking over as head coach of the Statesmen, Boone spent the 2011-12 season as head coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College, guiding the Bobcats to a school record 22 wins at the DII level and the program's first ever NCAA Division II Regional Tournament Championship appearance.
Under Boone's leadership, the Bobcats (22-9) defeated perennial DII power Winston Salem State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to West Liberty State.
Boone began his career as a standout player at West Virginia State College where he was a four-year letterman. He earned his bachelor's degree in Accounting (1981) and followed that with a master's in business administration from the University of Kentucky (1982) with a concentration in marketing.
His coaching career brought him back to his alma mater, spending three seasons as the head assistant coach from 1982-85. Boone made the jump to NCAA DI basketball in 1986, as an assistant at Charleston Southern University, where the Buccaneers won the Big South Conference Championship.
The championship experience led Boone to California University of Pennsylvania as head coach. Over the next 10 years, Boone led California (Pa.) to unprecedented success, including a 228-71 record. During his time with the Vulcans, Boone's squads claimed a 31 win season while also being the No. 1 ranked team in the country in 1992, two NCAA DII Final Four appearances, six regular season conference titles, and nine trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Boone (228-71) finished his time with a school-record 228 wins and a .763 win percentage. For his efforts, he was inducted into the California (Pa.) Hall of Fame in 2005.
From California (Pa.), Boone took on the challenge of rebuilding NCAA Division I Robert Morris University, eventually leading the Colonials to the NEC Championship game in 2000. In 1999 and 2000, he led RMU to a record of 25-13 in the NEC and produced two of the best seasons in Colonials history.
Boone left RMU after 2000 to take on the task of turning Eastern Michigan University into a competitive DI program. In five seasons at EMU, Boone quadrupled the program's wins total and set several Eagles attendance records.
Boone left EMU following the 2005 season to become the head coach at Tusculum College, a member of NCAA DII and the South Atlantic Conference. In 2009, the Pioneers won a school-record 20 games and made their second-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. He still holds the school record for conference wins over a four-year period. Boone recruited and coached two-time SAC Player of the Year and All-American Kyle Moore.
During his career, his teams have recorded 17 or more wins on 16 occasions, including six conference championships, four tournament titles and seven postseason appearances. From 1990-96, his California teams recorded over 20 victories for six consecutive years tallying an impressive 150-33 mark during that span. His 94-24 league record in the PSAC is still the best of any coach in that conference's history. He was named PSAC Coach of the Year on three occasions (1988, 1992, 1996) and NCAA Region Coach Year twice (1992, 1996).
He is married to the former Stephanie VanVranken and they are the parents of two sons, Jimmy and Joey.