Longtime Miami (Ohio) basketball coach Charlie Coles, the school's all-time leader in victories, died Friday in Oxford, Ohio, the school said. He was 71.
No cause of death was reported immediately, but Coles had a long history of heart issues.
Known for his colorful wit and a coaching competitiveness as the mid-major RedHawks often scheduled national powers for their nonconference games, the two-time Mid-American Conference coach of the year had 263 victories at Miami. He also was the Mid-American Conference's all-time leader in conference wins with 218. He had a career record of 355-308 over 22 seasons at Miami and Central Michigan.
"The basketball world lost one of its great ambassadors in Charlie Coles today," University of Kentucky coach John Calipari said in message via his Twitter social media account. "As a player, coach, mentor and teacher, no one was better than Charlie. He was a true, compassionate competitor who will be missed."
Coach Mick Cronin of Miami's nearby rival, the University of Cincinnati, expressed condolences to Coles' widow and family in a statement.
"He was a great coach and even better person," Cronin said. "Coach had the ability to make everyone smile and always wanted to help those around him ... his passing is a tremendous loss for the coaching community."
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