POPLARVILLE – Former Columbus State University (Ga.) head coach Doug Branson has joined the Pearl River Community College men''s basketball staff, says PRCC head coach and athletic director Richard Mathis.Branson boasts 11 years of senior college experience – all at Division II CSU located in Columbus, Ga. He had served as head coach of the Cougars'' program since 2006.”We (PRCC) had big list of impressive applicants for the assistant''s position,” Mathis said. “But Doug topped that list and I feel he''s going to do a great job for us.”Branson succeeds Trevor Lydic who resigned the post last spring to accept a position at Union University, an NAIA school in Jackson, Tenn. Lydic served as a Wildcat assistant the past three seasons.Branson spent the 1995-96 season at Wallace Community College in Dothan, Ala., before serving as a volunteer coach at Zion Chapel High School in Zion Hill, Ala., from 1996 through 1998. After earning his bachelor of science degree in mathematics at Troy State University in 1997, he joined the Columbus State ranks in 1999 and served as a graduate assistant coach through the 2000 season.In the 2001-2002 season, he was named a full-time men''s assistant and served in that capacity until he was hired as head coach in 2006. In addition, Branson was CSU''s cross country coach from 2002 until 2003.He earned his master''s degree in public administration at CSU in 2005.Branson successfully recruited 26 junior college athletes to Columbus State who earned All-American, All-Region, All-Conference, or All-State honors while in the Juco ranks. In 2002, he recruited former Wildcat All-American Yandell Brown who went on to earn All-Peach Belt Conference and Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year honors. Brown played for PRCC in 2001-2002 and the 2002-2003 state championship season.”Our goal is to repeat as state champions this coming year and Coach Branson is going to be a key cog in our getting there,” said Mathis, who has won five state titles over his last 19 years as PRCC''s head coach.Mathis also won a women''s state and Region 23 championship at East Mississippi in Scooba and a men''s state title at Northeast Mississippi in Booneville.
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