The 2016-17 season marks Ohio Valley Conference great and former NBA player Charles “Bubba” Wells' second season on the Cougar basketball staff. He joined Jon Harris' staff as an assistant coach in May 2015.
Wells came to SIUE after spending 10 seasons on the staff at his alma mater, Austin Peay, where he is the all-time leading scorer with 2,267 points and is a member of the Athletics Hall of Fame. His No. 13 jersey is retired by the school.
The Governors won OVC regular season championships in 2006-07 and 2007-08 with Wells as an assistant coach. The 2007-08 team won the OVC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA tournament, falling to second-seeded Texas in the first round.
While a coach at Austin Peay, Wells worked with the Governors’ post players, a responsibility which will continue on the Cougar sidelines.
Recently, Austin Peay centers Chris Horton (OVC All-Newcomer team 2012-13) and John Fraley (All-OVC second team 2011-12) and forward Drake Reed (All-OVC first team 2008-09) all have been honored by the OVC under Wells’ watch.
The 2,267 career points ranks Wells as the fifth-leading scorer in OVC history. During his playing career, Wells earned three first-team All-OVC selections. He was the 1996 and 1997 OVC Male Athlete of the Year winner and the 1997 OVC Player of the Year in men’s basketball. He also was a two-time Austin Peay Outstanding Male Athlete in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
As a player, Austin Peay won the OVC regular season title in 1997 and the 1996 OVC Tournament title, in which Wells was selected as the Tournament MVP. He continues to hold OVC Tournament records for the most points in a game, scoring 43 against Morehead State in the 1997 tournament, and total points in the tournament (99 in 1997 tournament). He also holds the records for field goals made and attempted in a game as well as in a tournament.
The native of Russellville, Kentucky, averaged 21.6 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game and connected on 52 percent of his shots during his playing career.
Wells earned his degree in Public Personnel Management from Austin Peay in 1997. He was then drafted by the Dallas Mavericks and played one season in the NBA. He also played professionally in the Philippines and Greece. He played two seasons for the Harlem Globetrotters.
In August 2007, he married the former Tracee Jones, the former head women's basketball coach at Tennessee State.
Wells has one daughter, Alyiah, age 15, and one son, Chase Rishard, age 5, born to he and Tracee.