BRISTOL, Tenn. – Nick Pasqua ('08) has been a member of the King University men's basketball program for 13 years as either a player or a coach. On Thursday he announced his resignation as associate head coach as he accepted the position of head coach at Tusculum College.
"The nine years I spent as an assistant for Coach Pitts has prepared me for this tremendous opportunity at Tusculum College," Pasqua said. "Having the ability to work for Coach Pitts and learn from him each day is one of the greatest blessings of my life, and I cannot wait to take what I have learned from him and apply it to my new position at Tusculum."
Pasqua was head coach George Pitts' assistant coach for the last nine years, including the last four as associate head coach, helping King to two Conference Carolinas regular season titles and the Conference Carolinas Tournament championship in 2015-16. He helped Coach Pitts guide the Tornado to their first NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in the first year they were eligible in 2011-12 and qualify for their second NCAA berth in 2015-16.
"Nick was my assistant and then my associate head coach for nine years," Pitts said. "He has grown as a person and coach immensely during this time. He has been responsible for much of the success that King has had during his nine years helping coach King. Nick is very deserving of being the head coach at Tusculum College. There is no doubt in my mind that he will do well there. It is probably the most bitter-sweet emotion I have ever encountered. I am extremely happy for Nick and his family and wish him nothing but the best."
With Pasqua on the sidelines, the Tornado won 192 games against just 83 losses for a winning percentage of .698. In that time, the Tornado posted five 20-win seasons and never finished lower than third in the conference standings, reaching the conference tournament title game four times.
"Coach Pasqua is one of the smartest coaches I've been around," King guard C.J. Good said. "He was always drawing up a play or trying to figure out how to put us in positions to score. Tusculum got one of the best coaches around."
As a player from 2004-08, Pasqua was a four-year starter, playing his final two seasons under Pitts. In two seasons under Pitts, the Tornado compiled a 49-19 record. Pasqua was a part of the two Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Tournament championship teams, and the 2007-08 AAC regular season championship team. He was selected first team All-AAC, and All-AAC defensive team as well as academic All-AAC after his senior season.
"When I came to King 11 years ago, Nick was the first returning player on King's team that I met," said Pitts. "After a few weeks of practice I learned that he needed to be my captain. He was my captain for two years, and he was an excellent, tough, competitive combo guard. He played on two conference championship teams that made the NAIA National Tournament. As soon as we lost in the national tournament during his senior year, I offered him an assistant coaching position."
Pasqua scored 1,300 points and dished out 500 assists during his Tornado career. He ranks in the top-10 all-time at King in three-point field goals (184), three-point field goal percentage (41.0), free throw percentage (83.4), assists, assists per game and steals. He is the all-time leader with 378 free throws made.
"Nick is one of the most talented young coaches in the region," Director of Athletics David Hicks said. "He's been a significant part of our success, and has been integral to our program for over a decade, as a student-athlete and coach. He embodies the values of NCAA Division II and small, private institutions. It's bittersweet when someone of his talent leaves, particularly when they represent all of the best things about King, but I am confident his experiences at King, under Coach Pitts' tutelage, has prepared him to be successful at Tusculum."