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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blow Heads Back Home, Takes Virginia State Job

Lonnie Blow Jr was named Virginia State's head basketball coach on Wednesday morning. (VSU photo)

For the second time in the last five years, Lonnie Blow, Jr. will be leaving his post as head coach at St. Augustine's University for his home state of Virginia. Blow was introduced as the head coach of Virginia State basketball in a press conference Wednesday morning.

“This was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but the hardest part for me was leaving my players," Blow said. "When you are fortunate enough to work at such a great university, and work with such outstanding young men, it is really special and very hard to leave.”


“We hate to lose Coach Blow but wish him well,” said St. Aug AD George Williams in a release. “We thank him for all that he has done at St. Aug during his tenure. Blow is an excellent coach. Since he is a native of Virginia, Coach Blow has the opportunity to be closer to family."

 Blow coached at St. Augustine's from 2008-2010, leading the Falcons to their first CIAA Championship and Division II NCAA Tournament appearance in over a decade. Blow went 46-15 during that period, and was named CIAA and National Division II Coach of The Year. but resigned to take a position as an assistant coach at Old Dominion following the 2010 season. The coach and the school reunited last spring as Blow was rehired in April 2012.

Blow led St. Aug to a 16-12 record in 2012, good for fourth in the CIAA's Southern Division.

Blow will replace the recently departed Darryl Jacobs at Virginia State. Jacobs left VSU earlier this month to take over the head job at Queens (NY) College. VSU finished 13-15 last season.

A Virginia native, Blow has deep roots in the Commonwealth. He played basketball at Virginia Wesleyan, then coached high school for more than 20 years in Norfolk. He also served as an assistant at both Hampton and Norfolk State before taking over at St. Aug in 2008.

I like this hire for Virginia State. Blow is a...well, Virginia guy. He's spent most of his life there, and he knows the recruiting scene. He also knows the CIAA, which should make his adjustment pretty smooth. Though Bowie State won the CIAA Tournament this winter, the Northern Division is generally considered the weaker of the two. With Blow's Tidewater connection at in-state VSU, things could get interesting rather soon.


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Steven J. Gaither is a multimedia journalist and founder of HBCU Gameday. Steven began covering HBCU Sports nearly a decade ago as a student at Winston-Salem State University. His work can also be found at The Shadow League, Diverse Issues In Higher Education and Slam Online.