For the first time since Aiken Technical College stopped fielding athletic programs in April 2013, Bruce Capers is back in the basketball coaching ranks at the helm of Gordon State College’s team.


Capers, 51, currently the president/CEO of Capers Enterprise in Snellville, Ga., guided the ATC program to record 145 wins, won three Region 10 NJCAA Div. 1 Conference championships, won two Region 10 NJCAA Division 1 Tournament championships and appeared in one NJCAA Division 1 national tournament.


He also created an academic success plan for all student athletes. The plan resulted in 70 percent of the players he coached earning a degree.


“Being a success on the court and on the field is important. We want to have a winning season, but we also want students who are a success in the classroom,” Capers said. “After all, the team members are student athletes and we must emphasize the student aspect of their athletic experience.”


At Gordon – located between Atlanta and Macon in Barnesville, Ga. – Capers will coach basketball and also teach physical education.


As president of Capers Enterprises – a special events company for former sports legends who conduct “edutainment” events for youth – Capers continued a relationship he established years ago. Capers was once known as “Sugar Bear” and renowned for his ball handling tricks, as a defender and a long-range shooter for the Harlem Globetrotters.


He was also affiliated with Meadowlark Lemon’s Harlem All-Stars as a player/general manager.


“I have high expectations for the players,” he said. “What it takes to win on the court is the same thing it takes to be a good student – hard work, dedication and perseverance. I will demand all three things from the student athletes on the team.”


Gordon State College athletic director Todd Davis says he is excited to have someone with Capers’ dedication to court and classroom success as a member of his coaching staff.


Capers earned his undergraduate degree in sociology at Berry College in 1986 and his master’s in health and physical education at Valdosta State University in 2002. He and his wife, Michelle, have a son, Dezmen.