Craig Carse is in his ninth season as the Hardin-Simmons University head men’s basketball coach.
Carse has coached at the NCAA I, II, III and NAIA levels. He goes into his 26th season as a head college coach in 2016-17 with a record of 418-279. He has coached collegiately since 1977.
He led the Cowboys to their first American Southwest Conference title in 2015-16 and also claimed the first win in school history in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
In his career, he has won conference championships (either regular season, postseason or both) in the Presidents Athletic, West Virginia Intercollegiate, Southeastern, Pacific West, Heartland and American Southwest conferences. He has guided teams to national tournaments at the NCAA I, II, III and NAIA levels.
His 2014-15 team was the ASC regular-season co-champion with a 20-7 record.
At HSU Carse has coached an ASC player of the year, first-team all-ASC selections, first-team all-ASC West Division players, second team all-ASC West Division selections, all-ASC west honorable mention selections and all-ASC tournament selections. He has had 19 players named academic all-ASC.
Carse’s HSU program owns the American Southwest Conference records for 3-point field goals made (21) and attempted (66) in a game and made (216) and attempted (742) in a season.
Prior to HSU, Carse coached Montana State University in Billings to four NCAA Division II tournament berths and four conference championships in the Pacific West and Heartland leagues.
His teams led the nation in 3-pointers made per game in eight times. They were also the nation’s top scoring team five times. His teams were at the top of NCAA basketball in victories (142) at home from 1995-2006 with less than one loss per season with an eleven year record of 142-10.
At Montana State University in Billings he had three players earn all-America honors with 19 all-conference selections.
Carse’s Montana State University in Billings teams excelled in the classroom. He had three people earn academic all-America honors with 21 individuals named academic all-conference with several repeat selections. Thirteen people had a semester of a 4.0 grade average while three earned a 4.0 during seasons they were named all-conference players.
Before going to Montana State University in Billings, Carse served as executive-vice president of the United States Basketball Academy in 1994-1995. Carse worked during the development of the academy’s campus and programs.
Prior to that he was assistant coach from 1987-1994 at Louisiana State University. During his tenure he was the lead recruiter of six McDonald’s all-America players and seven NBA selections including a first (Shaquille O’Neal) and third (Chris Jackson) pick. Carse was considered one of the NCAA’s elite recruiters with LSU climbing to a No. 1 national ranking.
Prior to LSU, Carse was the head coach from 1983-1987 at West Virginia State University where his teams went 79-43, including a 57-8 mark in his final two seasons. His teams were at the top of the nation in scoring and played in the NAIA’s 50th National Championship game in 1987. He was named West Virginia’s College Coach of the Year for 1986-1987. Four of his players were in NBA camps with Ron Moore a selection of the New York Knicks in 1987.
Before becoming the head coach at West Virginia State University Carse worked for West Virginia’s Salem College from 1978-1983. Carse was Salem’s primary assistant and lead recruiter. The Tigers climbed to the top of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Conference with 26 wins in 1983 while participating in the NAIA national championships.
Carse’s first position was in 1977-1978 as assistant coach at NCAA III Bethany College in West Virginia. The Bison captured the Presidents Athletic Conference and advanced in the NCAA national championship tournament.
Carse’s former players and staff have gone on to become professionals as players and coaches with NBA GM’s, NBA, CBA, ABA, NCAA I, II, III, NAIA and Junior College head and assistant coaches.
He is a noted speaker and clinician. He has lectured and taught the game of basketball nationally and internationally. His stops include working in all four time zones including Alaska and Hawaii in the United States, Europe, Australia and the Philippines. He has represented the United States with the certification of coaches in Europe and at the Super Cup in Berlin, Germany. He has coached and worked with Chinese national teams.
A native of Sistersville, West Virginia, Carse graduated from Sistersville High School and holds degrees from Bethany College and West Virginia University. He is a member of Hall of Fame’s at West Virginia State University and as a distinguished alumni of Sistersville.
Carse has been married for 39 years and has a son, a daughter, a grandson and granddaughter.