Biedenbach resigns UNC Asheville basketball coaching job; will be UNCW assistant

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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biedenbach1This is a shocking announcement. Coach Eddie Biedenbach’s move from UNC Asheville to UNC Wilmington looks like a lateral move, at best. Hopefully we’ll get more detail on what’s really going on.

Press release here from

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville Director of Athletics Janet R. Cone has announced today that head men’s basketball coach Eddie Biedebach has resigned to accept an assistant coaching position at UNC Wilmington with Buzz Peterson.

“We are grateful and thankful for the great job that Eddie Biedenbach has done with our men’s basketball program,” stated Cone. “He has established our program as one of the best in the Big South Conference and brought national recognition to our university and to Asheville.

“However, we hate to lose Eddie,” added Cone. “Anyone who follows our program knows the job he has done with our basketball team and how he has contributed so much more to our university and our community. Eddie has been a true mentor for the student-athletes that have played for him. Winning games and championships are just one aspect of Eddie’s legacy here. He has truly produced champions in athletics and leaders in life.”

“I’ve always said if a coaching opportunity ever presented itself at either N.C. State or UNC Wilmington that my family and I would be interested in pursuing it,” stated Biedenbach. “It’s very difficult to leave UNC Asheville. The 17 years here at UNC Asheville have been rewarding in so many ways which makes it even harder to leave.

“UNC Wilmington is a unique opportunity, and I look forward to working with Buzz Peterson and Jimmy Bass (UNCW AD) to rebuilding their program,” added Biedenbach.

“UNC Asheville is so very grateful for Coach Biedenbach’s 17 years of dedication and leadership of our men’s basketball program,” stated UNC Asheville Chancellor Anne Ponder. “Thanks to him, we now have a very solid program that has brought us national recognition, with players who have made us proud on the court, in the classroom, and in the community as they’ve gone on to exciting and successful careers. This is a wonderful opportunity for Eddie, to be an elder statesman and mentor, right here within the UNC system – we couldn’t be prouder of him.“

“We will work with our human resources office to select a search firm to help us conduct a nationwide search for our next head coach,” declared Cone. “I have asked Associate Head Coach Nicholas McDevitt to assume the day-to-day operations of the program and provide leadership until we hire a new coach.”

Biedenbach has been Asheville’s head coach for 17 years and has led the program to its greatest heights in the Division I era. The Bulldogs have captured five Big South Conference regular-season titles, three Big South Tournament championships, advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times and been in post-season play four times during his tenure. The Pittsburgh native has been named Big South Conference Coach of the Year three times (1997, 2002, 2008).

He is the school’s and Big South’s all-time winningest coach with 266 victories. Biedenbach is also the league’s all-time winningest coach for conference wins (156) and tournament victories (20).

Before Biedenbach leaves for UNC Wilmington, the school will host a celebration and thank you event for his 17-year tenure.

“We plan to set a date in the near future to celebrate what Eddie, Barbara and his family have accomplished during his time at UNC Asheville,” added Cone.

Biedenbach was hired in May of 1996 after serving as an assistant at N.C. State under Les Robinson. He immediately made an impact with the Bulldog program as Asheville won the 1997 and 1998 Big South regular-season championships. Those were the Bulldogs’ first BSC regular-season titles.

The Bulldogs won the 2002 regular-season championship before winning the tournament title in 2003 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Asheville made its NCAA Tournament debut a successful one by knocking off Texas Southern in the opening round game in Dayton, Ohio. The 92-84 win was the first NCAA Basketball Tournament victory for a team in the Big South Conference.

In 2008, Asheville won the Big South Conference regular-season championship and advanced to the league championship game before falling to Winthrop. The Bulldogs were selected to the post-season National Invitational Tournament, becoming the first Big South school to ever play in the event.

Asheville won back-to-back Big South Tournaments in 2011 and 2012. The Bulldogs won the 2011 title as the third seed in the league tournament as they upset Coastal Carolina on the Chanticleers home-court. Asheville advanced to the “First Four” where it slipped past Arkansas Little-Rock in the NCAA tourney opener.

In 2012, the Bulldogs won the Big South Conference regular-season title and tournament championship for the first time in school history. Asheville set a school-record for wins with 24 and league wins with 16. Biedenbach’s club advanced to the NCAA Tournament and as a 16th-seed nearly upset top-seeded Syracuse before falling, 72-65 in Pittsburgh.

This past year, despite graduating four starters from the previous year, the Bulldogs finished with a 16-16 overall record and 10-6 mark in Big South Conference action. Asheville upset St. John’s from the Big East Conference, giving the Bulldogs their first ever win over a Big East-school.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Bulldog Fan April 21, 2013

    Jason, you colleague Keith Jarrett tells more of the real story in his column today ( ): “Biedenbach grew weary of battling Cone and chancellor Anne Ponder over money issues, and the role the two administrators played in almost costing the Bulldogs home-court advantage in the 2012 BSC tournament damaged their relationships with the veteran coach.”

    Biedenbach and Bulldog fans may not be the only ones weary of the current UNCA administration. Faculty and staff may also be concerned but are fearful. A survey is here:

    1. Jason Sandford April 22, 2013

      Bulldog Fan, this is interesting. Do you know who, specifically, is behind this surveymonkey survey?

  2. UNCA Basketball Fan April 5, 2013

    Thanks, Jason!

  3. UNCA Basketball Fan April 3, 2013

    Is anyone asking if the chancellor and AD have anything to do with this departure?

    1. Jason Sandford April 4, 2013

      Citizen-Times reporter Keith Jarrett had a good column today breaking down what might have happened.

  4. fido April 3, 2013

    too bad for the bulldogs. a great coach, and gentleman, too. asheville’s loss.


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