Artie Pepelea enters his fourth season as an assistant coach for Middle Tennessee, and brings years of experience in all facets of the game to the basketball staff.
Pepelea, 38, had spent eight seasons as the top assistant to Dan Dakich at Bowling Green prior to being hired at Middle Tennessee by head coach Kermit Davis in May, 2006.
Head coach Kermit Davis notes that "Artie has a very good grasp of the details we play with on the floor, and has worked very hard in all aspects of our recruiting."
A native of Danville, Ill., Pepelea is actually on his second tour of duty at Middle Tennessee after serving as an administrative assistant on David Farrar's Blue Raider staff during the 1994-95 season.
Regarded as a staunch recruiter, Pepelea was part of a Middle Tennessee staff that landed a 2007 signing class rated No. 1 in the Sun Belt and No. 48 nationally by HoopScoop. The class was also rated the 13th best among mid-majors nationally by Rivals.com.
It wasn't the first time Pepelea was on a staff that had a highly-rated signing class. He also was part of signing a Top 50 class at Ball State, which resulted in 22 wins in 2002 - the most wins for the program since 1992. He was also part of a Top 50 signing class at Bowling Green, which resulted in 24 wins in 2002 - the most for that program since the 1948-49 season.
Pepelea's hard work with Blue Raider guards also has paid off. Kevin Kanaskie was an All-Sun Belt Conference performer in both 2007-08, and again in 2008-09. He became MTSU's all time assist leader this past season, and also joined the 1,000 point club in career scoring. He also moved into second place on the all-time career list for 3-point FGs. At all of the schools, Pepelea has coached the guard that is the current assist leader at that school.
Pepelea is involved in all aspects of the Blue Raider program including recruiting, player development, scouting and game preparation.
Prior to joining the Middle Tennessee staff, Pepelea's other coaching stops include Ball State (1995-1998) and Bowling Green (1999-2006). During his time at Bowling Green, Pepelea was part of a staff that helped lead the squad to 18 or more wins in four of the eight seasons - a feat that has been accomplished by the Falcons just one other time since 1958.
The hard-working assistant, who is widely respected in coaching circles, assists with organizing recruiting, scheduling, on-court coaching, day-to-day teaching of players, scouting reports, game preparation, and day-to-day operations involved in running the basketball program.
Pepelea has served on staffs that have recruited 24 All Mid-American Conference performers and three All-Sun Belt honorees, and he has coached three of the MAC's top 14 all-time leading scorers. Pepelea has been a part of two MAC championship teams, in 2000 at Bowling Green, and in 1998 at Ball State.
In addition, he has helped squads to three NIT appearances and worked with MAC Players of the Year Keith McLeod (2002) and Anthony Stacey (2000), while at Bowling Green, and Bonzi Wells (1996 and 1998), while at Ball State. Wells and McLeod have played for numerous NBA teams and now both play in Italy, while Stacey plays in France.
While at Ball State, Pepelea helped the Cardinals to a 21-8 record in 1997-98 and a berth in the NIT after tying Western Michigan for the West Division MAC championship - their first since 1992. Ball State was 53-33 in Pepelea's three years on the staff before he moved to Bowling Green.
At Bowling Green, Pepelea was part of six winning seasons in eight years and the Falcons produced a 133-96 record during that span, including a high-water mark for wins with a 24-9 ledger in 2001-02 - their most since the 1948-49 season. Thr 2008-09 team won the MAC East. And six of seven leading scorers were recruited by Pepelea, including 1st Team all-league performer Nate Miller.
Pepelea earned his undergraduate degree from Wisconsin-Parkside in 1994 in political science. He earned four letters as a member of the Parkside basketball team, starting for two seasons and leading the squad in assists. He earned second-team All-State honors during his senior year at Anderson High School in Anderson, Ind.
Pepelea is married to Dr. Alissa Pepelea and has three children - 9-year-old daughter Morgan, 8-year-old son Jackson and 5-year-old son Quintin.