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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Former Hoosier and NBA coach Mike Woodson feels right at home back in Bloomington, returning to Indiana as the team’s newest head coach.

“I’ve spent my life here. My walk of life around town has been great,” said Woodson. “People are excited, I’m excited. I came back here for one reason and one reason only, to put this team back on top.”

A first-time college basketball coach, Woodson’s philosophy values defense. He has spent the summer drilling that into his new team, and it paid off when they played in the Bahamas.

“I put the defense ahead of the offense,” said Woodson. “With defense, you have the chance to get guys to buy in and you can win ball games.”

After every practice, Woodson points up to the rafters to show his team the banners for Big 10 Championships and NCAA Tournament runs. His wish is to continue the legacy of his coach at Indiana, Bobby Knight, while bringing the Hoosiers back to greatness in the conference and beyond.

The Indianapolis native will make his debut as a college head coach when the Hoosiers open their season on November 9 at home against Eastern Michigan University.