Men's Basketball Team Gives Head Coach Robert 'Dondi' Deshields a Milestone 300th Win in 11 Seasons at The College
PHILADELPHIA, January 21, 2011 —Community College of Philadelphia’s men’s basketball team defeated Luzerne Community College 83-40 on Wednesday, Jan. 19, giving head basketball coach Robert “Dondi” DeShields his 300th win in 11 seasons.
DeShields is possibly the winningest coach in the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference (EPCC) and the Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association (PCAA). Under his leadership, the men’s Colonials basketball team has won six PCAA state championships—including the 2010 title and eight EPCC titles. His teams have lost just 71 games in 10 years.
Collecting his 300th win was a personal benchmark that DeShields set for his 11th season at the College. “This was the team to do it,” DeShields said. “These young men get along beautifully on and off the court.”
As a coach, DeShields places strong emphasis on academics. Players must maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average as freshmen and a 2.3 grade point average as sophomores if they want to remain on the team. He and his assistant coaches conduct tutoring sessions for players and monitor their classroom performance weekly.
DeShields is especially proud of the academic prowess of this year’s squad. Seven members of the 11-man roster have at least a 3.0 grade point average. “I’ve always looked forward to the day we would have true student athletes, and I believe we’ve done that with this roster,” DeShields said. “I’m confident that all of these guys will get scholarships somewhere.”
With the Luzerne win, the Colonials are 20-1 with 11 games left in the 2010—2011 season. The team’s one loss was to Globe Junior College of New York City in a nonconference game.
College President Stephen M. Curtis praised the team’s performance and DeShield’s ability to take young men, who may play no more than a single season, and mold them into a championship team. “The College is immensely proud of Coach DeShield’s achievement and the performance of his players both on and off the court,” President Curtis said.
In 2007, DeShields became the first African-American to be named PCAA Coach of the Year, a title he claimed again in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Also in 2007, DeShields shared the Small College Sam Cozen Coach of the Year Award with David Pauley of the University of the Sciences. DeShields was named EPCC Coach of the Year in nine of the last 10 years.
DeShields’ longevity at the College makes him somewhat of an oddity because community college basketball coaches typically do not stay long enough to amass this many wins.
DeShields, 53, said he has no desire to coach elsewhere. The South Philadelphia native is an alumnus of the College, where he played basketball while earning an associate’s degree in Communications. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Communications at Temple University, but did not play basketball there.