Associate Head CoachMichael Cotton
A former Division I basketball standout at Oklahoma and Boston College, associate head coach Michael Cotton enters his second season coaching under his former head coach Al Skinner.
“I feel very fortunate to be able to name Mike as my Associate Head Coach,” Al Skinner said. “He brings tons of experience and recruiting ties in this area. He is totally a student of the game. He will make an outstanding head coach.”
Cotton comes to KSU after spending the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach at NC Central.
Prior to NC Central, he spent a season at Rider College in Lawrenceville, New Jersey where his duties included off-campus recruiting, guard development, game scouting, and practice and game coaching.
Before going to Rider, Cotton spent four years at Bucknell University under head coach Dave Paulsen and helped the Bison win the 2011 regular season and Patriot League Tournament championships and earn an NCAA Tournament berth. The Bison won the Patriot League regular season title for the second year in a row in 2011-12, but lost in the tournament championship game to Lehigh. Bucknell advanced to the second round of the 2012 NIT with a double-digit opening round win over Arizona before losing a close game to Nevada.
Cotton joined Bucknell's staff after spending time in Durham, N.C. where he was the head basketball coach at Kestrel Heights School and owner of Complete Player Development, LLC, a basketball instructional training program for players from elementary school through college. In 2007-08, Cotton led his Kestrel Heights team to the Central Carolina Athletic League regular-season title and a runner-up finish in the conference tournament, while also teaching algebra and science.
From 2005-07, Cotton was the head varsity basketball coach at Western Vance High School in Henderson, N.C. In addition to teaching algebra, he coached his team to a league title and an undefeated conference record. Cotton also coached at the prep level at Bonner Academy in Raleigh, N.C., in 2003-04. A year later he served as the coordinator of Communities in Schools of Wake County, a program that served middle and high school students in the Raleigh area who were serving long-term suspensions from school.
Since graduating from Boston College with a degree in biopsychology in 2000, Cotton also spent time working in the business and technical fields, and he was quite active in AAU basketball in North Carolina. From 2001-03 he was head coach of the Garner Road YMCA AAU team; he was associate head coach of the Carolina Cougars from 2003-05; and he was head coach of the United Celtics in 2006-07, helping the 14-and-under team qualify for the Division I AAU National Championships.
The son of a U.S. Air Force serviceman, Cotton was born in Detroit, spent parts of his childhood in Texas, the Philippines, New Mexico and Alaska, and attended high school in Arkansas. His collegiate basketball career began at Oklahoma, before he transferred to Boston College following his sophomore year. As a 6'4" guard, Cotton was a starter for the Eagles during both his junior and senior seasons. At Oklahoma, Cotton was named Big 12 Student of the Week, a Sooner Scholar and he was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Cotton and his wife, Kendra, have a daughter, Jarah, and two sons, Kael and Rhys.
Carlton Owens begins his second season as assistant coach at Kennesaw State.
Owens brought more than 20 years of coaching experience to Kennesaw State, including two stints in the Big 12 where he served on staffs at Texas and Nebraska.
"I am very excited to add a person of Carlton's talent and experience to my staff," Skinner said. "He is a tireless worker and brings on tremendous insight to the game."
Most recently, Owens was an AAU coach and camp instructor at Hoop Heaven since 2007 and was an assistant coach at Gill Street Bernard School in New Jersey since 2013.
Prior to moving back to New Jersey, Owens spent a season at the University of Nebraska in 2006-07 when the Cornhuskers went 17-14 overall.
Owens joined the Nebraska staff after spending the previous five years serving as a coach and administrator in the AAU ranks, including guiding the Madison Broncos in New York City. He spent the 2000-01 season as an assistant coach at the University of Albany, following one season at St. Peters (N.J.) College, where he also served as an assistant coach and was an instructor in the team's summer camps.
His coaching career began at the University of Texas assisting head coach Tom Penders from 1996 to 1998. With Owens on staff, the Longhorns made NCAA Tournament appearances in 1996 and 1997, finishing third in the league standings each year. Overall, the Longhorns recorded a 53-39 record during Owens' three seasons in Austin.
Before joining the coaching ranks, Owens played professionally in the CBA for two years following an outstanding college career. Owens played collegiate ball for Rhode Island, where he led the team to a pair of postseason appearances. Under first-year head coach Skinner, the Rams made a Sweet 16 run during the 1988 NCAA Tournament.
A four-year letterman, Owens finished his career ranked first all-time in scoring and assists at URI. He still ranks seventh all-time in scoring in Atlantic 10 Conference history with 2,114 points and is fourth with 766 field goals. He was a two-time team Most Valuable Player as a point guard and two-time first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection, and led the league in scoring as a senior in 1988.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Owens returned to college after his professional career ended and obtained a bachelor's of science degree in human development and family studies in 1993.
Stephen Cox enters his second year as assistant coach at Kennesaw State.
Cox joined the Owls after previously serving as the head coach at Thomas University for two seasons.
“I am very fortunate to have Stephen on my staff,” Skinner said. “He brings a work ethic that everyone will respect, and he’s a local coach with great connections and understanding of the game.”
During his two seasons as Thomas' head coach, Cox compiled a 35-24 record going 18-18 in The Sun Conference. The Night Hawks finished sixth in the Sun Conference and achieved their highest ranking in school history at No. 15 in the NAIA during the 2014-2015 season.
Previously, Cox was an assistant coach at Georgia Southwestern State University where he helped lead the Canes to their first appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament as a three seed.
Prior to GSW, Cox served as an assistant at two NCAA Division I schools in Georgia at Savannah State and Mercer.
As a player, Cox played two seasons at Middle Georgia College prior to transferring to Clayton State University to finish out his career.
Cox and his wife Kelli have a son named Ryland and they currently reside in Kennesaw, Ga.