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 378-400 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.
Wimphrie has spent the last 23 seasons at the helm of the men’s basketball program and enters his 24th year in charge in 2017-18. He previously spent two years as the women’s head coach at SWU.
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.
In 1993 Wimphrie was named the head coach of the men’s program and guided the program to back-to-back 20 win seasons. The 1999 squad reached the semifinals of the Georgia Alabama Carolina Conference (the precursor to the Southern States Athletic Conference), eventually falling to Faulkner. That team went on to win the NCCAA regional and advanced to the NCCAA National Tournament in Indiana, finishing the season with a school record 26 wins.
In 2003-04, Wimphrie guided the Warriors to an 18-13 overall mark and a 12-7 record in the GACC, finishing third in the conference.
The Warriors reached the NAIA National Tournament during the 2005-06 season, falling to Robert Morris 88-80 in the opening contest. The team finished runner-up in the SSAC and closed the season at 19-14 overall and 14-6 in league play. SWU also defeated Charleston Southern (NCAA I) 92-88 in December of that season.
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.
Prior to coaching, Wimphrie was a standout on the court. A native of Laurens, S.C., Wimphrie played for Laurens High School where he averaged 20 points per game and 15.5 rebounds per game. Upon graduation he attended The Citadel on an athletic scholarship, playing for former N.C. State coach Les Robinson. Wimphrie transferred to SWU where some of his records still stand to this day. In 1981 he was fifth in the country with 27.5 points per game. He still holds the SWU 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 and his wife Sandra reside in Easley, S.C. and have four children: Byron, Quinton, Eudera and Jemiah.