March 15, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- Robert (Bobby) McCullum has been named the 12th head men's basketball coach at Western Michigan University. His appointment was announced by Kathy Beauregard, athletic director, at a media conference this morning (March 15).
"I am excited to have a coach the caliber of Robert join our staff," Beauregard said. "He brings a great deal of experience with him from a number of quality programs. I believe he possesses the skills to move this program forward."
McCullum, 45, comes to WMU from the University of Illinois, where he has served the previous four seasons as an assistant coach. He will continue to work with the Fighting Illini as the squad prepares for its third NCAA Tournament appearance in the past four seasons.
"I am excited by the opportunity as well as the challenge this job presents," said McCullum. "I look forward to accepting the baton passed on from the previous coach and feel prepared to lead this program in its race to the finish line."
WMU President Elson S. Floyd will recommend McCullum's appointment to the university's Board of Trustees for official approval. Floyd also spoke at this morning's announcement, attended by more than 100 media representatives, members of the athletic staff and friends of the university.
"Community involvement with our university," said Floyd, "is a fundamental part of what we are trying to accomplish here. I think Robert will do an outstanding job of representing the men's basketball program both on and off the court."
McCullum replaces Bob Donewald, who compiled a 151-155 record in 11 seasons as the WMU men's basketball coach. Beauregard relieved Donewald of his coaching duties on March 6, indicating that it was time for a change in leadership for the program.
Completing his 18th season as an NCAA Division I coach, McCullum joined the Illinois staff in April 1996 after spending the previous six years on Lon Kruger's staff at the University of Florida.
The Birmingham, Ala., native coached one season (1990) at Kansas State with Kruger before making the move to Florida. For two years (1988-89), McCullum served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Southern Illinois University. Previous to SIU, he completed a pair of stints at South Alabama, first as a member of Cliff Ellis' staff in 1983 and later an an assistant to Mike Hanes in 1985.
In between his two stints at South Alabama, McCullum was an assistant at Samford for the 1983-84 campaign, helping that program to the most wins (22) in school history.
McCullum also spent six years coaching in the high school ranks in Birmingham, Ala. He played two years of basketball at Seminole Junior College in Sanford, Fla.,and was the team's captain one season. He transferred to Birmingham Southern and graduated from there in 1976. He received a master's degree in secondary education from Alabama State in 1980.
McCullum and his wife, Cheryl, have two children.
Media contact: Scott Kuykendall; 616 387-4138; firstname.lastname@example.org
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