Wallace State Basketball Coach Allen Sharpe hired by UAH

Coach Allen Sharpe. (WSCC)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Wallace State Community College announces that women’s and men’s head basketball coach Allen Sharpe has accepted a position as head coach of the University of Alabama at Huntsville women’s basketball program.

Sharpe recently completed his ninth season in two stints as Wallace State men’s basketball coach and his first as the women’s basketball coach, taking on both teams for the 2023-2024 season.

“Wallace State congratulates Coach Sharpe on this recognition and wishes him well with the Chargers,” said Wallace State President Vicki Karolewics. “We are thankful for the nine years that Sharpe led the Lions and are proud of all he has accomplished.”

Coaching women’s basketball presented a new challenge for Sharpe and one that he found he enjoyed at a time when fan support and enthusiasm for women’s basketball is soaring.

In his debut season this year, Sharpe led the Wallace State women’s team to a 25-6 record and ended with a runner up finish at the Alabama Community College Conference Championship Tournament at UAH. The team missed a trip to the NJCAA tournament by two points in a 60-58 loss to Shelton State Community College.

“I really enjoyed it and obviously we had a good year,” Sharpe said. “The opportunity at Huntsville came about and it just all kind of fell into place. If you had asked me a year ago if I’d be coaching women’s basketball, I’d say you were crazy, but I did it this year and really enjoyed it and had this opportunity, and I’m going to keep pushing forward with it.”

Sharpe thanked Dr. Karolewics for the opportunity to coach at Wallace State twice in his career.

“You know it’s not often that you get hired at the same place, twice. I told her the other day how much we appreciate her for giving us this opportunity again. It had such an impact on our family with our kids. Just in her hiring me so many pieces fell into place for our family. But I also told her it’s her fault for letting me coach the women’s team that I’m leaving.”

He said he leaves Wallace State with the hope that he’s made an impact on the programs.

“I think that when you take these jobs and then you leave, often you want to leave it better than how you found it. I’d like to think it’s better,” he said.

Sharpe was recently named the NJCAA South District Coach of the Year after leading the men’s team to the 2024 National Junior College Athletic Association DI Basketball Championship, where the Lions reached the second round of play. The men punched their ticket to the national tournament by defeating Bishop State 85-81 for the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) title. The conference title was the team’s fourth since 2010.

Freshman guard Jimmie Williams was named to the NJCAA DI All-America Teams as a Third-Team All American, becoming the fourth of Sharpe’s players to earn the honor. Cory Cooperwood, who currently serves as the Lions’ assistant coach, was named a First-Team All American in 2007 and 2008 under Sharpe and L.A. Farmer was named a First-Team All American in 2010. Javaon Borum was named Honorable Mention in 2008.

Sharpe returned to Wallace State during the COVID-19- shortened 2020-2021 season.

He previously coached men’s basketball at Wallace State from 2005-2010, compiling a 136-30 record with the Lions and leading the program to its first ever ACCC/Region 22 Tournament championship in 2010. Sharpe also led Wallace State to its only No. 1 national ranking in 2008, a campaign that began 30-0. In nine seasons overall at Wallace State, Sharpe’s record is 173-51 with the men’s team.

Sharpe took over at University of Arkansas-Monticello after his first stint in Hanceville. He coached the Boll Weevils for four seasons, becoming the only coach in program history to have four consecutive winning seasons, compiling a 70-42 record. Sharpe returned to the state in 2014 as the University of West Alabama’s head coach. He spent six seasons with the Tigers, finishing his tenure there with a 108-71 record. He was named the 2019 Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year when the Tigers registered the program’s first NCAA Division II tournament win since 1982.

Sharpe’s head coaching career began at Truett-McConnell College in Georgia. Sharpe played collegiately at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., scoring 1,431 points under legendary coach Don Meyer. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb and a master’s degree from Piedmont College. He and his wife, Susan, have three children, Garrison, Ally and Anderson. Garrison plays for UAH men’s basketball team.