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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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BREAKING NEWS: Niblett accepts post at UTEP
Heat coach to leave program he founded after four years

Friday, July 2, 2010

By PAUL MONTANA - Bulletin Sports Writer

Heat Academy coach Jason Niblett confirmed Friday afternoon that he has accepted a job offer to be an assistant coach for the University of Texas at El Paso men's basketball team.

Niblett said that he and first-year UTEP coach Tim Floyd had been discussing the job opening since April. Niblett accepted the offer this week.

"I feel like I've accomplished enough on this side of the prep ball," he said. "I'm just looking for a new challenge."�

The Heat coach has received "two to three offers per year" from college programs over the last three years, he said, including several other invitations this year which Niblett did not disclose. He accepted UTEP's offer because "I just feel like UTEP is the right place to be under a great head coach in Tim Floyd," he said.

Two Heat players, Michael Haynes and Desmond Lee, have signed to play for UTEP next year. Haynes, the Heat's most prized recruit this past season, turned down offers from Duke, UCLA and Texas to play for UTEP.

Niblett, though, said that neither Haynes nor Lee knew there was even a possibility of Niblett joining the Miners coaching staff until after they had signed.

The future existence of the Heat Academy remains uncertain, Niblett said. He said he has out-of-town friends who have offered to take over the Martinsville-based program, which he founded four years ago and now showcases one of the finest collections of prep basketball talent nationwide.

See the full story in Sunday's edition of the Martinsville Bulletin.


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