::  BIOGRAPHY ::

 

Bobby Champagne enters his 10th season as head men's basketball coach at the University of North Alabama. After taking over the reigns in 2003, he has returned the Lion program to a position of national prominence.

Under Champagne, the Lions have qualified for post-season play in all nine seasons, including nine consecutive Gulf South Conference tournaments and two NCAA tournaments. UNA also won the NCAA Division II South Regional Championship in the 2007-08 season. He is 145-118 during his tenure at North Alabama.

After finishing the 2007-08 season at 27-8 and re-writing much of the school's record book in the process, the Lions were 18-10 in 2009. Kenny Johnson was named GSC East Player of the Year. The Lions posted back-to-back 13-16 campaigs over the last two years while twice advancing to the semi-finals of the GSC Tournament.

The 45-year-old Champagne, who was honored by the NABC as South Region Coach of the Year in 2008, has been affiliated with 14 postseason tournament teams (10 NCAA, two NIT) during his 24-year collegiate coaching career. He came to UNA after one season as an assistant coach at the University of Texas-El Paso.

In his first season at UNA, Champagne led the Lions to a 12-16 record that also included a berth in the 2004 GSC tournament. The following season, the Lions improved to 14-14, and again were participants in the conference tourney.

During the 2004-05 campaign, UNA knocked off several ranked teams in the regular season, including No. 1 Southern Indiana on Nov. 20 at Flowers Hall. The Lions finished the year with a 14-14 mark. In 2005-06, UNA was 18-11, played in the GSC Tournament and received an NCAA South Regional bid. The NCAA postseason nod was the first for the Lions since 1996 and the eighth for Champagne. The Lions had their second consecutive winning season in 2006-07, going 15-14.

Champagne was a member of the coaching staff at Georgia State University in 2001-02, working under legendary coach Lefty Driesell. The Panthers registered a 20-11 record, reached the postseason NIT and defeated two Top 25 teams (No. 23 Georgia, No. 15 Saint Josephís). Georgia State was 14-6 in the Atlantic Sun Conference, tying for first place with Troy State.

He previously was an assistant coach at Louisiana-Lafayette (1997-2001), Oklahoma (1994-97) and Washington State (1991-94). Three of the players he assisted in recruiting to Louisiana-Lafayette (Brad Boyd, Blane Harmon, Robert Jupiter) were three-time All-State selections as preps.

He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at South Alabama. In 1990, he coached the Louisiana Stars, an AAU squad in his hometown of Lafayette, La. The Stars won the state championship, finished 10th in the nation and competed in international tournaments.

Champagne has worked with some of the nationís best basketball coaches in Kelvin Sampson at Washington State University and the University of Oklahoma and Charles "Lefty" Driesell at Georgia State University. He has coached teams that have six NCAA Division I tournament appearances, two NIT appearances and four conference championships.

Champagne played collegiately at Jefferson Davis Community College (two years) and South Alabama (one year), where he earned his degree in 1990.

He earned his Associate arts degree in Liberal Arts from Jefferson Davis Community College in 1987, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from South Alabama in 1990. He was a two-year basketball letterwinner at South Alabama. He was named to the all-academic team (1987-88 season), and was also a President's List honoree (1990) and a Deanís List student (1988-90) while playing for the Jaguars.

Champagne and his wife, the former Anna Baxter, have three sons, Charlie (12), Will (10) and Joe (8), and a daughter, Annie (5).

                  

2007 Bobby Champagne. AllCoachNetwork.com,
A division of
CollegeInsider.com