David Doino spent seven years at N.C. Wesleyan learning the ins and outs of being a basketball assistant coach.
He knew eventually that he wanted to have a program of his own, and although he interviewed for several jobs in the past, no
formal offers came his way.
It was no surprise to him that when the time came to leave, it was his boss who helped push him out of the door.
Nearly a month after Battling Bishops head coach John Thompson learned of the coaching vacancy at USA South rival Averett, Doino went through a round of interviews and was hired Wednesday as its men’s basketball coach.
Both agreed that Averett would be a good fit for Doino, and Saturday, the latter will head to Virginia to begin his stint as the head coach of the rival Cougars.
“I’m not sure if it has hit me yet,” Doino said. “I’m anxious to hit the floor running and get going. It’s a great feeling. This business is so competitive, and being in my 11th year and being on the doorstep a couple of times and not get those head coaching jobs, it could be frustrating at times. To see the dedication pay off is a special feeling.”
Doino, 31, was Thompson’s top assistant during a stint when the Bishops won a pair of USA South regular-season titles. The apex came in 2011 when the team won the USA South Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Thompson said Doino was a top-notch recruiter who has been more than ready to run a program of his own.
It would have been convenient to keep such an assistant close, but Doino’s talent was apparent. As soon as Thompson found out about the opening at Averett, he called Doino and encouraged him to apply.
“He was ready to be a head coach,” Thompson said. “He needed to make the next step in his career. I wanted to help him in every way I could and for him to get the job for his own professional development.”
Doino will take over an Averett program that was coached by Matt Parke for the past three seasons, finishing 12-15 in 2013-14.
Doino, a New York City native who played at Virginia Wesleyan, said he was sold on the vision of Averett’s leadership.
He said he believes he can also keep his recruiting roots in shape by continuing to seek players from Virginia and North Carolina.
Thompson said Averett will have a coach who “connects with everybody” whether it is players or the school’s staff.
Doino, whose pregnant wife, Lauren, and 2-year-old son, Anthony, will soon join him in Virginia, said he looks forward to returning to N.C. Wesleyan once a year for the scheduled contest against the Bishops.
“Coach Thompson gave me a chance to come here and coach and run with some things with recruiting and scouting,” Doino said. “I have a lot to be grateful for. I have a lot of great relationships at N.C. Wesleyan, which I hope to be lifelong relationships. It’ll be weird to be across the sideline from them. I wish them the best except for when they are playing the Cougars.”