Coene Breaks Career Scoring Record in RWU Men’s Basketball

Senior captain also putting up impressive numbers in classroom

Student athlete during a game.
Hannah Kaplan `20

BRISTOL, R.I. – Senior captain Austin Coene committed to Roger Williams University during the summer of 2014, before going into his senior year of high school, never expecting that he would shatter records.

But during a Jan. 19 game against the University of New England, Coene became the all-time leading scorer in RWU men’s basketball history, tallying his 1,928th point. And on Feb. 2, Coene made history again by becoming the first 2,000-point scorer in RWU men’s basketball history.

“Basketball has been my favorite sport since elementary school. I never imagined what my strengths were,” Coene said. “Freshman year, my coaches – Coach (Michael) Tully, Coach (Dan) Weidmann and Coach (Joshua) Petersen – trusted me to go into games, and it just worked out.”

Austin is exceptional both on the court and in the classroom. He challenges himself no matter the circumstances, achieving a 3.9 cumulative GPA as a finance major. A long-term goal of his is to become a financial adviser in the greater Boston area. He is now applying for financial analyst positions.

Coene, a 6-foot-2 guard from Tyngsborough, Mass., has received support and recognition throughout his time as a player at RWU. In the past two weeks, he has been honored by the Commonwealth Coast Conference as CCC Player of the Week. Also, after beating the record, a professor that Coene has never met wrote to him. The professor had been following Coene’s achievements since his freshman year and wanted to congratulate him on his accomplishments. 

“I was proud of him. I’ve been at RWU for a long time and saw Ed Randolph, the record holder who Austin beat, and Ed was really good,” RWU Professor of Philosophy Robert Blackburn said. “So, watching Austin play the last four years was special. Student athletes do not always get the recognition they deserve, so I wanted to reach out and tell him how much I enjoyed watching him play over the past few years. He is a leader on the court, and he stands out academically.” 

Coene was touched by Blackburn’s words.

“The community at Roger is special and is very supportive,” Coene said. “Although I do not have plans with basketball post-college – maybe a men's league – the relationships I’ve made, they are my family and I have gotten the best out of it. I’m sad it is almost over.”

Stay tuned over the coming month to see if Coene, the best basketball player RWU has ever seen, can lead the Hawks to a Commonwealth Coast Conference championship.