Lions announce new head basketball coach

Tony Pujol will lead the Lions on the court for the 2018-19 season. He brings with him a strong record from his years of experience coaching across the country.

by Associate Sports Editor Hunter Anderson

Athletic Director Mark Linder announced Tony Pujol as the new head men’s basketball coach April 2. UNA will formally introduce him at a press conference April 6 at 2 p.m.

Pujol has a long history of collegiate athletic involvement. He was an assistant basketball coach at Appalachian State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Alabama. His most recent position was as an assistant basketball coach at the University of Wyoming starting in 2016. He has a total of 14 years of college coaching experience, according to Sports Information.

“We had an outstanding pool of quality candidates and brought in four very impressive individuals,” Linder said in a Sports Information release. “The committee and I met with Tony and knew that he was the right fit at this time for the UNA basketball program. He has a high degree of energy, his preparation is off the charts, and he wants to be here.”

Pujol will lead the Lions basketball team in their transition into Division I, moving into the ASUN conference. He is the seventh head coach in the history of UNA’s men’s basketball program, and he joins a school with 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, eight regional championships, five Final Fours and two national championships.

His accolades include a 20-13 record at Wyoming in 2017-18, with an appearance at the College Basketball Invitational Championship the prior year. During his time at Alabama, he earned a 99-71 record from 2010-14, with the Crimson Tide having one of the best defenses in the nation during his involvement in the 2010-11 season. At Virginia Commonwealth University, he finished with a 76-25 record from 2006-09 with VCU winning three conference regular-season titles and two appearances in the NCAA tournament.

Before that, his involvement at Appalachian State from 2004-06 helped lead the school to a win in the Southern Conference North Division championship in 2005. Additionally, he coached high school basketball in south Florida for 13 years.

“Tony has had tremendous success wherever he has been,” Linder said. “We look forward to welcoming Tony, his wife Mayle and their family to the Shoals and to UNA.”