Coach Jeff Battle (Providence College) finds success in familiar territory
By Rick Lewis
Coach Jeff Battle spent 13 seasons at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. During his tenure, Coach Battle served as associate head coach to Skip Prosser, Dino Gaudio, and Jeff Bzdelik. Without question, Coach Battle was partly responsible in Wake Forest’s success. Under Dino Gaudio, Wake Forest was voted the No. 1 team in the national rankings in 2005 and 2009. Coach Battle was known as an excellent recruiter and one of the hardest working assistant coaches in the business.
After being out of the coaching profession for a brief period, Ed Cooley called upon Battle to join him in 2015. Since then, Battle has enjoyed recruiting the Carolinas and for good reason. First of all, the Carolinas is fertile recruiting territory, but many high major programs often steered away simply because of the ACC. While many coaches may have been somewhat hesitate, Coach Battle enjoyed revisiting and recruiting a familiar territory.
This past season, Coach Battle and Providence College secured the commitment of 6’8 ’18 Kris Monroe of St. David High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Monroe received an offer in 2016 from hometown NC State, but kept his recruitment open. Since then, Monroe developed an outstanding relationship with Coach Battle before recently committing to Providence College. Monroe is currently ranked the 10th best prospect in the loaded 2018 class in North Carolina. Monroe has a unique blend of athleticism and skill set that should see success in the Big East.
During the first week of September, Coach Battle and Providence once again stuck pay dirt with the commitment of 6’8 versatile combo forward Jimmy Nichols of Conway High School in Conway, South Carolina. Nichols is a borderline top 100 player nationally and provides Providence with a long and athletic forward.
ACC schools recruited both Monroe and Nichols, but it was Coach Jeff Battle and his ties to the area that allowed Providence to come in and steal a few local players and players that would have usually gone to the ACC.