Colorado Springs, Colo. – Northeast Mississippi Community College’s Cord Wright has received a pair of awards for directing one of the most successful seasons in the history of the men’s basketball program.
Wright was selected as both the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) District 15 and Region 23 Coach of the Year for his efforts with the Tigers this campaign.
“I’m obviously extremely excited,” said Wright. “Both of those awards as anybody knows are a credit to your team, staff and personnel behind you. I’m just fortunate to be here with good players that made good plays.”
Wright officially completed his rebuilding efforts at Northeast during the 2015-16 campaign. The Tigers won only five games during his inaugural season at the helm, but two short years later they amassed a total of 18 victories.
Northeast began the campaign by claiming four of its initial five games prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. That included the first-ever triumphs by the Tigers over Baton Rouge (La.) Community College.
Wright’s crew crossed the century mark for the fourth time at Arkansas Baptist College in their final contest of November. They became the first Northeast squad to score 100 or more points in that many games during a single year since the 1999-2000 edition that captured the NJCAA Region 23 championship.
The Tigers started a six-game winning streak in December and went undefeated during that month. Northeast picked up marquee victories at East Mississippi Community College and against Columbia State (Tenn.) Community College to close the fall semester.
As the Tigers extended their success into the new year, the fans continued to increase in number. Northeast had three contests in which over 1,000 individuals filed into legendary Bonner Arnold Coliseum, including a season-high attendance of 1,775 versus Itawamba Community College.
The Tigers also started to gain attention countrywide when they appeared in the NJCAA Division I rankings as one of the teams receiving votes for two consecutive weeks in early January.
Northeast qualified for the postseason as the third place entrant from the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division with a 15-8 overall record.
The Tigers exited the MACJC State Tournament with a first round loss to Jones County Junior College at Itawamba’s Davis Event Center. But greater things were just around the corner for Northeast’s talented roster.
Wright guided the Tigers to three wins in as many days to obtain the NJCAA Region 23 title on the campus of Mississippi College. It was Northeast’s eighth regional crown and the first since 2000.
The Tigers made the trip to Hutchinson, Kan., for the NJCAA Division I National Tournament and lost to eventual champion Salt Lake (Utah) Community College in its opener at the historic Sports Arena.
“I credit our guys, especially our sophomores. We had ups and downs like everybody, but we kept fighting,” Wright said. “What we did was extremely special. It’s a great experience, but you’ve got to move on and keep getting better.”
The Lafayette, La., native has now led Northeast to the state and regional playoffs for two consecutive campaigns. He has accumulated a 35-19 mark during that stretch, including a phenomenal 22-4 record at home.
Wright has helped six former Tigers achieve their dreams of competing at the four-year level since arriving on the Booneville campus, including Mississippi State University’s Reggie Patterson and 2015 NJCAA All-American Dimario Jackson at the University of North Alabama.
sissippi Community College