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Ernie Zeigler
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Cleary College
Graduating Year: 1994
Experience: 1st Year
Phone: (989) 774-4302
Email: zeigl1ef@cmich.edu
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Zeigler Photos
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Zeigler Videos
Ernie Zeigler
Courtesy: CMU Athletic Communications
Release: 03/14/2012

In six seasons (2006-07 through 2011-12) at the helm of the Central Michigan University men's basketball program, Ernie Zeigler led the Chippewas to two Mid-American Conference West Division titles and a pair of Michigan MAC Trophies.

CMU won back-to-back West Division titles in 2009 and 2010 and captured the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Michigan MAC Trophy for best head-to-head record among in-state league schools in 2010 and 2012.

The Chippewas reached the MAC Tournament quarterfinals in four of his six seasons and finished below third in the conference standings just once.

For three straight years (2009, 2010 and 2011) and four times overall (2007), CMU's recruiting class was ranked atop the MAC by hoopscooponline.com.

During his tenure at CMU, Zeigler (75-111, .403) mentored eight All-MAC selections - Giordan Watson (2007 first-team and 2008 second-team), Marcus Van (2009 honorable mention), Jordan Bitzer (2010 second-team), Robbie Harman (2010 second-team), Jalin Thomas (2011 honorable mention) and Trey Zeigler (2011 honorable mention, 2012 third-team) - as well as a four MAC All-Freshman Team players - Marko Spica (2007), Jeremy Allen (2008), Trey Zeigler (2011) and Austin McBroom (2012).

Six former Chippewas went on to professional careers overseas under Zeigler.

A Year-by-Year Breakdown
CMU went 13-18 overall and 7-9 in the MAC duing Zeigler's first season as a head coach in 2007. He led the Chippewas to a seven-and-a-half game improvement that was the 17th-best turnaround in the nation that year. The 13 wins more than tripled the previous year's total. CMU led the league in free throw percentage as Giordan Watson picked up first-team All-MAC honors.

The 2008 season featured a four-game winning streak, capped with a 78-67 victory at Big Ten foe Michigan. Central finished the year at 14-17 overall and 8-8 in the league. The .500 MAC record marked just the third time in the previous 17 seasons that CMU won at least half of its league games. A win over Northern Illinois in the first round of the MAC Tournament also highlighted the campaign.

The Chippewas tied for the MAC West Division title in 2009 with a 7-9 league record and 12-19 overall mark.  CMU won the division despite losing a returning starter to injury in the preseason and then its leading scorer to injury after just seven games.  The Chippewas were able to grind out the division title after facing a challenging non-conference schedule with road losses at No. 25-ranked Marquette and Kentucky.

CMU defended its division title in 2010 with a 9-7 MAC mark and 15-15 overall record.  Robbie Harman led the nation in three-pointers made that year, and both he and Jordan Bitzer joined CMU's 1,000-point club. The marquee win of the year was a 59-56 triumph at Big East foe South Florida.
In 2011, Zeigler's squad suffered several close losses early in the season before finishing 10-21 overall and 7-9 in the league. Trey Zeigler was the nation's third-leading freshman scorer.

The 2012 season saw Trey Zeigler become the first Chippewa in school history to score his 1,000th career point as a sophomore. CMU won the Michigan MAC Trophy and swept eventual division winner Eastern Michigan during the regular season. The Chippewas were 11-21 overall and 5-11 in league play, and won a MAC Tournament road game at Bowling Green as the No. 11 seed.

Zeigler was introduced as the Chippewas' 19th men's basketball coach at a press conference on June 29, 2006.

Seven Seasons of Division I Experience Prior to Central Michigan
Zeigler began his tenure with the Chippewas three months after helping lead UCLA to the 2006 NCAA title game.

He spent five seasons as an assistant under Ben Howland at both Pittsburgh (2002-03) and UCLA (2004-06). The programs achieved great success with Zeigler on staff as Pitt reached the NCAA Sweet 16 both years and finished 2003 with a final Associated Press ranking of No. 4. The 2002 squad won a school-record 29 games while the 2003 team captured the Big East Tournament championship. Both years the Panthers won the Big East West Division championship.

When Howland took the UCLA job, Zeigler joined the Bruins’ staff and helped the team to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. The No. 2-seeded Bruins advanced to the 2006 NCAA championship game but fell to Florida, 73-57. UCLA won the 2006 Pac-10 regular season and tournament championships.

Each season UCLA had a top 15-ranked recruiting class – fourth by rivals.com in 2004, 13th by scout.com in 2005 and sixth by foxsports.com in 2006. The Bruins’ staff recruited three McDonald’s All-Americans in the three years Zeigler was on staff – Arron Afflalo, Jordan Farmar and James Keefe.

Prior to joining Howland’s staff, Zeigler had one-year stints at Kansas State (2000) and Bowling Green (2001).

Success at Every Stop, from Michigan to China
Zeigler has three seasons of head coaching experience overseas. He was named the Chinese Basketball Alliance Coach of the Year in 1997 after leading the Henan Wildcats to their first winning season and a playoff berth. Zeigler then coached the Al-Halil Club of the Saudi Arabian Basketball Federation to back-to-back Final Four appearances and the 1999 SABF championship. There he compiled a 41-13 record.

Zeigler began his coaching career under his former prep coach, Robert Menefee, at his alma mater, Detroit Cody High School. Zeigler was an assistant at Cody from 1990-96; in four of those six seasons, Cody was ranked among the top 10 Class A teams in the state of Michigan. Detroit Cody reached the state quarterfinals in 1992 and won the Detroit Public School League West Division championship in 1993.

From 1992 to 1997, Zeigler was the head AAU coach for Team Detroit. He guided all six squads to the state AAU Final Four and the 1994 squad reached the national AAU quarterfinals. In 1995 and 1997, Team Detroit advanced to the adidas Big Time Tournament quarterfinals.

Zeigler received a bachelor’s degree in business management from Cleary College (Ypsilanti, Mich.) in 1994. He played collegiately at Schoolcraft College (Livonia, Mich.) from 1984-86, Armstrong Atlantic State University (Savannah, Ga.) from 1986-87 and Northwood University (Midland, Mich.) from 1987-88.

Ernie and his wife, Seantelle, have two children, Trey and Skylar.

Professional Players Under Zeigler The Zeigler File    
Dijon Thompson (UCLA)
2005 Phoenix Suns 1990-96      
Cody High School (Detroit) Assistant Coach  
Maurice Taylor (U-M)
1997-07 NBA 1992-97      
Team Detroit (AAU) Head Coach  
Keith McLeod (Bowling Green) 2002 NBA 1996-97 Henan Wildcats (China) Head Coach  
Brandin Knight (Pittsburgh) 2005 Houston Rockets 1997-99 Al-Halil Club (Saudi Arabia) Head Coach  
Jermaine Jackson (UDM)
1999-07 NBA 1999-00 Kansas State Assistant Coach  
Ryan Hollins (UCLA) 2006-10 NBA 2000-01 Bowling Green Assistant Coach  
Luc Mbah a Moute (UCLA) 2006-11 Milwaukee Bucks 2001-03 Pittsburgh Assistant Coach  
Jordan Farmar (UCLA) 2006-11 NBA 2003-06 UCLA Assistant Coach  
Darren Collison (UCLA) 2009 New Orleans Hornets 2006-07 Central Michigan Head Coach 13-18
Trevor Ariza (UCLA) 2004-11 NBA 2007-08 Central Michigan Head Coach 14-17
Arron Afflalo (UCLA) 2007-11 Denver Nuggets 2008-09 Central Michigan Head Coach 12-19
Sefton Barrett (CMU) 2007-11 France 2009-10 Central Michigan Head Coach 15-15
Giordan Watson (CMU) 2008-11 Iceland 2010-11
Central Michigan
Head Coach
10-21
Marcus Van (CMU) 2009-10 Germany 2011-12 Central Michigan Head Coach 11-21
Chris Kellermann (CMU) 2010 Luxembourg     Career Record (6 yrs.) 75-111
Marko Spica (CMU) 2010-11 Slovenia        
Robbie Harman (CMU) 2010-11 Holland