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T. J. Carnegie Named New Basketball Coach at GRCC; Former Catholic Central Coach “Extremely Excited” About Post

Grand Rapids Community College has named Thomas John (“TJ”) Carnegie – the former Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Albion College basketball standout – as their next men’s basketball coach.  He takes over the program effective July 1.

Carnegie’s most recent coaching experience was with Grand Rapids Catholic Central, where he guided the varsity boys’ basketball team to five 15-plus win seasons and regional, district and conference championships.  “TJ brings not only great coaching experience, but a passion for the game to our basketball program,” said Charlie Wells, GRCC athletic Director.    Wells points out Carnegie’s Grand Rapids roots and his relationship with the region’s high school basketball coaches and programs as major factors in his selection.   “We had a great pool of candidates, and we’re very fortunate to be welcoming Coach Carnegie to our athletic program,” said Wells.

Carnegie also coached at East Grand Rapids and Wyoming Lee high schools, and lists among his accomplishments a 100% graduation rate for his players during his nine-year tenure at Catholic Central and the fact that of the forty-nine players he coached there, twenty-four went to play college athletics.  

“I’m very much aware of the history, tradition and success of GRCC’s basketball program and admire the College’s commitment to ensuring the educational success of their student athletes,” said Carnegie.  “I’m ready to start preparations for the upcoming season.”  Carnegie said he is excited about working with many of the area high schools as he begins his recruiting efforts.  “In over a decade of coaching in West Michigan I competed against many of the region’s basketball coaches, and will be able to recruit with some success in this area.”
Carnegie replaces Kelly McEwen, who resigned after the 2010-2011 basketball season.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 32,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.