Lady Cougar Basketball Coach Goes for 300th Career Win

Columbus State head womens coach Jay Sparks will try for the 300th win of his career Saturday at the Lumpkin Center in a non-conference game against West Georgia at 2 p.m.

JaySparks, right, has come a long, long way since being selected as the programs first head coach back in 1989. At that time he had only one scholarship to work with and his first squad managed just four wins. Now, the CSU program is widely recognized.

Sparks, who coached on the high school level at Brookstone and Hardaway, saw his record gradually improve over the first four seasons, doubling to eight wins in the second year, to 10 in the third and 12 in the fourth. The first 20-win campaign came in just the fifth year of the program as his squad went 20-9. That was the first of nine 20-win campaigns in Sparks 16-plus year tenure.

The most incredible stretch of Sparks career was a span from 1997-98 to 2002-03. During that time, his teams won 158 games against only 37 losses -- an average record of 26 wins and just over six losses per season. In the last eight seasons (including the first nine games of this year) his record is 194-69 -- a .738 winning percentage. His overall record now stands at 299-183 (.620).

The Saturday contest is also the last game for CSU before the Christmas holiday break. The Lady Cougars will next play on December 29-30 as they host the CSU Holiday Classic. Georgia College, Caldwell (NJ) College, and Stillman University will play in the event which will begin at 3 p.m. each day. Meanwhile the CSU men will be on the road this weekend against a pair of very formidable foes, playing at North Carolina Central on Saturday at 1 p.m. and then at No. 3 Virginia Union, the defending Division II national champion, on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.