“Today's Challenges Facing Major College Basketball”
The signs of renewed success and positive momentum surround Georgia's basketball program, attributed in large part to the tireless efforts of Dennis Felton, who has begun his fifth year as head coach. The Bulldogs' won/loss record has improved steadily under his direction. The players are achieving in the classroom. And the team's facilities are being upgraded significantly.
Felton came to Georgia following five seasons and three NCAA tournament appearances with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. His team's progression at Georgia closely resembles the one he led at Western Kentucky. Georgia showed significant improvement last season, finishing with a .500 record in the SEC and a return to postseason action.
Before he became a head coach, Felton climbed the collegiate ladder in a series of assistant coaching jobs. He began at the University of Delaware for four seasons (1986-90) before one season each at Tulane and St. Joseph's.
In 1992, he got his break when he became an assistant coach at Providence under Rick Barnes. That season began a six-year tutelage with Barnes that included two seasons with the Friars and four at Clemson University (1994-98). The six teams that Barnes and Felton coached together all posted winning seasons, played in the postseason and averaged 19 wins per year. In the spring of 1998, just before Barnes left Clemson for the Texas job, Felton took the head coaching job at Western Kentucky.
In 2005, Felton was named an assistant coach for the U.S. team at the Under 21 World Championships, which is considered one of the world's most important non-Olympic basketball competitions.
Felton got his start in the coaching profession as an assistant at Oxon Hill (Md.) High School in 1984. He then became an assistant coach at Charles County Community College (now the College of Southern Maryland) in LaPlata, Md., for one season before moving on to Delaware.
His father's career in the U.S. Air Force provided Felton with an adventurous early childhood. Born in Tokyo, he traveled the world with his family, eventually moving to Clinton, Md., in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. A star athlete at Surrattsville High School, Felton played collegiately at Prince George's Community College and completed his college career at Howard University, where he was a cum laude graduate in 1985 with a degree in radio, television and film production.
Felton and his wife, Melanie, have two sons: 12-year-old Jazz and 10-year-old Nile.