It is nearly impossible to talk about Southern Wesleyan University men’s basketball without mentioning Charles Wimphrie, both as a player and as a coach.
During his illustrious career at SWU, Wimphrie has compiled a 370-358 overall record, sent nine players into the professional ranks overseas and has seen 35 players go on to become current coaches in high school and college. As the Warriors transition out of the NAIA, Wimphrie leaves as one of the Top-20 winningest coaches in that association. Prior to coaching, Wimphrie was a standout on the court. A native of Laurens, SC, Wimphrie played for Laurens District 55 High School where he averaged 20 points and 15.5 rebounds per game. Upon graduation, he attended The Citadel on a basketball scholarship, playing for former North Carolina State coach Les Robinson. In 1979, Wimphrie transferred to Southern Wesleyan University where some of his records still stand to this day. In 1981, he was 5th in the nation in scoring average 27.5 points per game He still holds the single season scoring record of 781 and held the single-game scoring record at 47 until 2010 when one of his players, Nick Lagroone, topped the mark by one, scoring 48 points.
Wimphrie has spent the last 23 seasons at the helm of the men’s basketball program and enters his 24th year in charge in 2016-17. He previously spent two years as the women’s head coach at SWU.
Prior to working with the men’s team, Wimphrie guided the women’s team for two years, including a Palmetto State Conference championship in 1992. That team went 22-5, which is still a school record for wins in a season. Wimphrie was named NAIA District Six and Palmetto State Conference Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Wimphrie started his career as an assistant at SWU in 1986 before moving up to head coach of the women’s program.
In 1993, Wimphrie was named the head coach of the men's program and guided the team to back-to-back 20 win seasons. The 1999 squard team reached the semifinals of the Georgia Alabama Carolina Conference (the precursor to the Southern States Athletic conference), eventually falling to Falkner University. The team went on to win the NCCAA regional and advance to the NCCAA National Tournament in Indiana, finishing the season with a school record of 26 wins.
The Warriors reached the NAIA National Tournament during the 2005-2006 season, falling to Robert Morris 88-80 in the opening contest. The team finished runner-up in the Southern States Athletic Conference and closed the season at 20-13 overall and 14-6 in league play. Wimphrie's team also defeated NCAA Division I Charleston Southern 92-88 in December of that season.
In each of the past two seasons Wimphrie has guided the Warriors to 17-15 seasons. In 2013-14 SWU finished 10-8 in the SSAC and tied for second in the East Division. Wimphrie coached Cameron Solomon to numerous awards during the 13-14 campaign including SSAC Newcomer of the Year, SSAC All-Conference, NAIA All-American Honorable Mention and NCCAA All-American Honorable Mention. Jordan Wallace and Jemiah Wimphrie were named SSAC All-Freshmen while Dwayne Bryant and Kenny Holmes garnered SSAC All-East Division honors.
During his illustrious career at SWU, Wimphrie has won 378 games, produced 8 All-Americans, 4 Freshmen of the Year, numerous All-Region, All-Conference and All-Academic athletes. He has sent 12 former players onto the professional ranks overseas and has seen 37 former players go on to become current head or assistant coaches in high school and college. As the Warriors transition out of the NAIA into the NCAA II and Conference Carolinas, Wimphrie leaves as one of the top-20 (#18) winningesst coaches in that association. He is a member of the Southern Wesleyan University Hall of Fame. The 2016-2017 campaign will be the first as full members of the NCAA and Conference Carolinas.
Wimphrie and his wife Sandra reside in Easley, S.C. and have four children: Byron, Quinton, Eudera and Jemiah.