Central Connecticut Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann has announced that head men's basketball coach Howie Dickenman has signed a contract extension that will keep him as the head coach at his alma mater through the 2015-16 season. Dickenman will be entering his 17th season leading the Blue Devils in 2012-13.
"It's no secret what Coach Dickenman has meant to Central Connecticut basketball," Schlickmann said. "He has led our program to unprecedented success on the court, including three Northeast Conference titles and three trips to the NCAA Tournament during his 16 years at the helm. As a result, our expectations for the men's basketball program are very high. Coach Dickenman has developed a program that is considered a perennial contender for the NEC title and one of the toughest opponents annually in the region. The same qualities that made him a Central Hall of Famer as a player: his work ethic, tenacity and playing the game the right way, are the same qualities that he displays as a coach and instills in our student-athletes. His commitment and loyalty to CCSU and to Blue Devil Athletics have been exceptional. We are proud of his accomplishments and excited to sign him to this extension."
Dickenman's record speaks for itself in his 16 seasons as the head coach of the Blue Devils. He is second in school history in wins with 249, behind only his former coach and fellow Hall of Famer William Detrick. During his tenure the Blue Devils have won three NEC titles, including their most recent in 2007, and made three trips to the NCAA Tournament. He has produced five NEC Players of the Year, and three NEC Defensive Players of the Year. His 16 seasons make him the second longest tenured coach in school history, also behind Detrick.
"Central Connecticut is a special place, and being the coach here is an honor," Dickenman said. "When I came back to New Britain in April of 1996, I knew this was where I wanted to be. When I was here as a player we had a lot of pride in the words Central Connecticut, and I think in the last 16 seasons we have worked long and hard to make sure that that pride returned to the men's basketball program. I am proud of the program we have built, and proud of all of the players and coaches who helped us build it."
CCSU has averaged almost 17 wins per year in the last 14 years under Dickenman. That is the fourth-best total in New England (out of 21 Division I schools) during that time frame. Only Connecticut, Vermont and Boston College have averaged more wins per season than the Blue Devils.
Dickenman is a four-time NEC Coach of the Year and has been the NEC Championship game five times. The Blue Devils have qualified for 14 straight NEC Tournaments, the longest active streak in the league. In his 16 seasons Dickenman is 180-119 against teams from the NEC, including the post-season.
A 1970 graduate of Central, Dickenman is one of only five players in history with both 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. The 6-4 center averaged 17.7 points and 14.7 rebounds his senior season as the Blue Devils finished 20-8, won the Northeast League title, and earned a berth in the NCAA District One Tournament. He graduated in 1970 and earned a Master's Degree in elementary education from CCSU in 1975.
Dickenman is one of the founding fathers of Interval House, Connecticut's largest agency working toward ending domestic violence, a newly announced initiative, being Chaired by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. In the Spring of 2012 Dickenman was honored by The Interval House at its Breakfast of Champions. The award has only been given twice by The Interval House in its history, the first to current U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Dickenman is a member of seven separate Hall of Fames, including the CCSU Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame in which he was inducted into in 1980. He was inducted as a member of the first-ever class to enter the New England Basketball Hall of Fame on October 4, 2002. Dickenman, who was inducted as one of the top Division II players in New England history, was joined by names like Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Calvin Murphy, Patrick Ewing and Julius Erving. He was inducted into the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame on March 8, 2003. In November of 2000 Dickenman was named to the Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame. Along with his late father, Howard B. Dickenman, Sr., who was inducted in 1968, they are the only father-son combination in the Hall. In June of 2002, he was inducted into the Cheshire Academy Hall of Fame. Dickenman is also a member of the East Hartford Explorers Tap-Off Club Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Gold Key by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance in April of 1996 and also was inducted into the Norwich Sports Hall of Fame. He was named the Sportsperson of the Year in Norwich in 1999.