Moving into what will be his 19th year at Carnegie Mellon, Tony Wingen, as head men’s basketball coach and associate athletics director, is excited for the future of athletics at this institution.

Carrying the title of Carnegie Mellon’s winningest men’s basketball coach, Wingen balances a team of his own, while also managing administrative matters to keep things running smoothly for all of the school’s exceptional student athletes.

The Tartan chatted with Wingen last week to discuss his involvement with the Tartan athletics program.

The Tartan: What is your favorite part about being involved with athletics at Carnegie Mellon?

Wingen: I love the fact that our student athletes balance their studies so well while competing for championships in their sport. Developing a winning team at a world-class university is really great.

T: What sports were you involved in while you were growing up?

W: Basketball was my main focus by high school, but my brothers and I, and my dad, played just about every sport. Growing up in Enfield, we had such tremendous opportunities to play, and every memory I have is special.

T: Who has been a role model for you in terms of coaching basketball? Is there a coaching theory that you follow the most?

W: I have learned from all of the coaches that I have played for and worked with, but my dad, Jerry Wingen, and Ed Bilik at Springfield have been the most influential.

T: As an administrator as well, are there any exciting plans for the future of the athletic department?

W: We have a master plan for a new building, which we all hope will continue. As always, we’ll work with the coaches to help make their teams as competitive as they can be, and provide the best possible experience for our student athletes.

T: What responsibilities do you have as chairman of the National Association of Basketball Coaches committee on academics?

W: I’ve been a member of the committee for 20 years, and have been chair for the past two. The committee is responsible for promoting the academic “success stories” of college basketball players, and encouraging coaches to work with school children in their communities. We also administer the Literacy Champion Award, which recognizes a coach whose program and players have worked to enhance reading and literacy. This year’s winner was Bob Knight, and I had the honor of presenting the award to him at the Final Four. That was kind of a thrill.