Head Coach Wes Pifer completed a strong first season guiding the Wolves in 2019-20 leading the team back to the GNAC Tournament in the process. Before arriving at WOU, Pifer served as an Associate Head Coach at Northern Arizona University. During Pifer’s first season with the Wolves, WOU came out of the gates on fire winning nine of their first 11 games, which vaulted them to the No. 24 national ranking in the NABC Poll. Included in that stretch was an impressive win over then No. 6 and now Division I program Dixie State in which WOU won by 16. The Wolves closed the regular season strong winning six of seven to advance to the GNAC Tournament tying for second in the GNAC regular season standings. The team was tough to beat at home as WOU went 10-2 inside NPE Building Gym and finished the season with an overall record of 19-8. Dalven Brushier took home unanimous All-GNAC first team honors, while Darius Lubom and Cameron Cranston were also honored by the GNAC. Brushier went on to earn D2CCA All-West Region accolades. WOU was among the national and conference leaders in multiple categories in 2019-20 as the Wolves led the nation in free throw percentage (82.6), while ranking in the top-25 nationally in field goal percentage, 21st nationally (49.3), scoring offense per game, 19th nationally (86.6), three point field goals per game, 15th nationally (11.3), three point field goal percentage, 12th nationally (40.8) and in turnover margin, 21st nationally (3.5). WOU led the GNAC in fewest turnovers (330), free throw percentage, scoring margin, scoring offense, steals per game, turnover margin and turnovers forced.
The 2020-2021 basketball season marks head coach Gerald Holmes’ nineteenth year guiding the Bloomfield College Men’s Basketball program. He is the longest tenured coach at the college and his reign at the helm of the Bears has seen his teams become one of the preeminent powers in the East Region and a perennial contender for the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament Championship.
Considered 'The Architect' of one of the NCAA Division II East Region's top programs, Holmes has compiled a, 338-206 career record while winning seven CACC tournament championships and 11 regular season first place finishes. Included within those seven tournament championships are two 3-peats (2004-2006 & 2011-2013), with the last league championship coming in 2017. The Bears, under Holmes' direction have made 8 NCAA tournament appearances.
In 2011, Holmes guided his team to an NCAA East Region Championship and an appearance in the coveted Elite Eight. The Bears earned the #7 seed in the tournament and knocked off the top 3 seeds to claim the regional title. To date, Bloomfield remains the only CACC team ever to win the East Region Championship. Holmes has been honored as the CACC Coach of the Year four times in his career, 2009, 2014, 2018 & 2019 as well as being named Coach of the Year by the Metropolitan Writers Association in 2005, 2011 & 2018. Holmes has produced the CACC Player of the Year six times, most recently 2 seasons ago when he coached the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year in Kavione Green.
The son of one of the most legendary players in school history, Hill, Jr. has wasted no time in creating a strong place of his own in the history of Rams basketball. In just two seasons with the Rams, Hill, Jr. led the team to its first Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) championship in eight years and a 31-25 overall record. In addition to the team’s tournament championship, the Rams also claimed a share of the 2019-20 CIAA Southern Division Championship. Along the way, he was named the 2019-20 CIAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year and helped the team to rank seventh in the nation in scoring defense and first in the CIAA. He also led a pair of Rams to earn All-CIAA honors during his time. The Rams also made their first trip to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament since 2013.Prior to taking the reins of the WSSU program, Hill, Jr. had a successful run as the head coach at Shaw University from 2008-15, where he led the Bears to a 116-67 record in seven seasons. In 2011, he guided the Bears to their first Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) championship and an appearance in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament. Hill’s coaching success did not begin at Shaw. He also had a very successful run as the head coach of the Shaw Bears. Hill, Jr. spent five years as the head coach at Cheyney University where he led the Wolves to a 55-67 record, including a 23-8 record in the 2003-04 season. The Wolves also saw a pair of appearances in the NCAA Division II playoffs. In addition to his experience as a head coach, Hill spent time as assistant coach at the University of Nebraska.
Having been UIndy's head coach for 12 seasons, Stan Gourd has lifted the Greyhound men's basketball program back to national prominence. That success has included six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2010-2016, multiple All-America honors, a No. 1 ranking from his Division II peers (2014-15 season) and 2013-14 GLVC Coach of the Year honors. Gouard was named NABC Midwest Region Coach of the Year following the 2019-20 campaign. UIndy finished the 2019-20 season with a 24-6 overall record and earned the top seed and hosting rights for the DII Midwest Regional. Senior Jimmy King earned two All-Region First Team nods, as well as unanimous selection to the All-GLVC First Team. Junior Trevor Lakes also gathered his second All-GLVC honor. This past winter, Gouard led the Greyhounds to their first NABC national ranking in nearly three years as the team ranked inside the top 25 for two straight weeks in late November and early December. UIndy won its first six games of the season, before wrapping up its third consecutive campaign with a 12-6 record in GLVC action. The Greyhounds knocked off No. 3 Bellarmine in Nicoson Hall on February 9, the second straight season UIndy has defeated the Knights in the Circle City. Overall, UIndy won 19 games for the second straight year under Gouard, who has secured nine consecutive winning seasons on the south side. Jimmy King, Jesse Kempson, and Trevor Lakes each earned All-GLVC recognition; with CJ Hardaway Jr. earning All-Defensive squad honors. Gouard has a career coaching record of 228-117 winning 66% of his games.
During his 20 years as the Maroon Tigers’ head coach, Brewer has compiled a 315-242 record. His record sits behind Frank Forbes and Arthur McAfee, in Morehouse history. During the last 19 years, Brewer has continued the Morehouse basketball tradition as one of the top Division II basketball programs in the country. During that time, he has led Morehouse to seven 20-win seasons, seven SIAC regular season championships, an SIAC tournament championship and three NCAA tournament appearances. 2018-19, Brewer led Morehouse to a 20-5 record, including a No. 3 national ranking, the highest national ranking by a Maroon Tiger team in school history including earning back-to-back SIAC regular season titles and back-to-back SIAC Coach of the Year honors. In 2017-18, Brewer guided the Maroon Tigers to a 25-3 record, a spot in the SIAC tournament semifinals and host of the 2018 NCAA DII South Regional. For the team’s accomplishments, Brewer garnered The Clarence "Big House" Gaines Award given annually by Collegeinsider.com to the most outstanding men's college basketball head coach in NCAA Division II.
MCA NAMES TOP NAIA ASSISTANT BASKETBALL COACHES IN THE COUNTRY
1.Don Hickombottom | William Penn
The 14 year veteran has been very instrumental in the growth of the program as head coach John Henry’s go to guy. Over the last decade, Hickombottom has assisted Coach Henry in recruiting and developing arguably the best talent in NAIA. The Statesmen have been to an astounding 8 NAIA national tournaments including the National championship game in the 2012-13 season The last five seasons has witnessed the Statesmen dominate the competition. They average close to 29 wins and made the NAIA tournament every year including the Final Four in 2016-17. Hickombottom has been very instrumental in the development and recruitment of many All-American student athletes including Dexter Hood(Heart of America Player of the Year and 1st team All-America), Kevin Blaylock (3rd team All American) and Karmari Newman(Honorable Mention All- American). 2019-20 team was 30-3 in the COVID shortened season including 21-3 in conference. They closed in the season on a 12 game winning streak including winning the Heart of America conference championship.
2.Jimmy Wenslow | LSU Alexandria
The 4th year veteran has helped further the unprecedented success of head coach Larry Cordaro. In his 1st two years he helped lead the Generals to their 2nd staright and third overall Red River Athletic Conference championship all while helping guide LSUA to the NAIA “FAB FOUR” as the Generals advanced to their 1st ever NAIA National Championship game in his 1st season. Wenslow then helped guide the Generals to back to back RRAC championships during his 2nd season. During the 2019-20 season the Generals finished 25-6 overall and a remarkable 17-1 in conference. They completed the season ranked #13 in the nation. Wenslow recruited and mentored 2nd team All American Chris Vickers.
Greene graduated from LSUS in 1995 and became the graduate assistant for the Pilots basketball team in 1996. In 1997, he became an assistant coach at LSUS; the veteran has been a part of the turnaround at LSUS under the leadership of head coach Kyle Blakenship. The Pilots have been nationally ranked each of the last 5 years and average 23 wins per season with Greene on the sidelines. Greene has been instrumental in the recruitment and mentored many All American student athletes most recently TraQuan Knight (1st team All-American), Gilbert Thomas(3rd team All-American) and Kadavion Evans (Honorable Mention All-American). The 2019-20 COVID shortened season team finished 29-3 with a 16-2 Red River conference record. The Pilots concluded the season on a 14 game winning streak and a Red River Conference Championship.
3.Derrick Greene | LSU Shreveport
4.Mike Smith | Dalton State
2020-21 will be Mike Smith's 3rd season on the sidelines for the Roadrunners. Smith brings over 12 years of collegiate coaching experience to the Roadrunner bench, making stops at Southeastern Louisiana, Centenary, Mississippi Valley State, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Lawson State, and Alabama A&M. He spent the 2017-18 season as the Head Coach at Mae Jemison High School in Huntsville, Ala. The 2019-20 saw the Roadrunners eclipse the 30 win mark including winning the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Championships. Smith recruited and mentored SSAC Player of the Year and All-American Randy Bell and 1st team All-conference and Honorable Mention All-American Kevon Tucker. The Roadrunners also set school records for consecutive wins in a season with 17 and regular season wins with 27. They were awarded a #1-seed in the NAIA Tournament that was later canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was part of a University of New Orleans squad that finished the 1986-87 regular season 26-4 and ranked #16 in the country earning the #7-seed in the Southeast Region of the NCAA Tournament. The Privateers would go on to defeat #10-seed BYU, before losing to #2-seed Alabama in the second round. The next season UNO would win the American South Conference regular season championship and continue to play in the NIT where they would lose their first round matchup with eventually semifinalist, Colorado State.
Newton the new head coach at his alma mater Rust College was at Harris-Stowe for the 2019-20 season. He previously served as an assistant at NCAA D-2 Miles College where he was the recruiting coordinator. He helped lead the team to a 21-9 overall record while capturing the school's first ever SIAC West Division Regular Season Championship and the school's first ever SIAC Tournament Championship. Newton was an assistant at Dillard University helping head coach Mike Newell turn around a once dormant program. With Newton on the sidelines Dillard won 63 games in 3 years compared to 14 total wins the 3 years prior to Newton’s arrival on campus. Dillard won 3 consecutive Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) Championships. He recruited and mentored 2nd team All American Demetric Austin and Honorable Mention All Americans Dennis Hightower, Jalen McGaughy and Quinton Jackson. 2019-20 Harris Stowe Hornets went 23-9 winning the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Championship and advancing to the NAIA National tournament which was cancelled due to COVID. Newton mentored AMC Player of the Year and 1st team All-American Deshawn Munson. Harris Stowe increased their win total from 16 games to 23 games with Newton assisting head coach Brion Dunlap in 2019-20.
5.Edward Newton | Harris Stowe
The head of the country’s best defensive team 2 years straight, Coach Watson has turned around a once dormant program. His team are 45-13 in 2 years with back-to-back regular season and conference championships both are school records. A stingy defense Miles has allowed 80 points once in 58 games and allow 5 teams to reach the 70 point mark. Both seasons at Miles his teams have been the only team in the country to hold teams defensively to under 60 point per game. 2019-20 completed the season 24-4, which included the conference Player of the Year and BoxToRow first team All American Avery Brown and 2nd team All-Conference, Conference Tournament MVP and 2nd team BoxToRow All American Jelani Watson-Gayle.. Watson was named Hoopdirt.com D-2 National Coach of the Year, BoxToRow D-2 National Coach of the Year, SIAC Coach of the Year, SIAC Tournament Most Outstanding Coach, HBCU National Coach of the Year and was named one of the 50 most Impactful coaches in D-2 basketball. The 2019-20 team was ranked as high at #19 in the country the first time in Miles College history being nationally ranked. Watson has a winning record in 17 of his 18 seasons as a head coach. 16 of his years as a head coach were spent as his alma mater Benedict College(SC).
MCA ANNOUNCES TOP DIVISION III ASSISTANT BASKETBALL COACHES IN THE COUNTRY
1. Shawn Boggs | Randolph Macon
Shawn Boggs completed his fifth season as a Randolph-Macon Basketball assistant coach during the 2019-20 season. He has seen the Yellow Jackets increase their win total each season. R-MC is 55-6 over the past two seasons, including 30-2 in ODAC contests. This past season, Boggs and the Yellow Jackets posted a mark of 28-2, with a 15-1 ODAC record. R-MC was as high as No. 2 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 and finished the year at No. 3. The Yellow Jackets captured both the ODAC regular-season and tournament titles. R-MC hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, posting wins over Wesley and TCNJ. The Yellow Jackets were scheduled to host No. 13 Yeshiva on Friday, March 13 in the Round of 16 before the NCAA cancelled all winter and spring championships due to COVID-19.Boggs helped the Yellow Jackets go 27-4 overall during the 2018-19 campaign. R-MC earned the right to host a pair of NCAA Tournament contests. The Yellow Jackets won those two games and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. R-MC went 15-1 in ODAC contests, claiming its third straight regular season title. The Yellow Jackets went 12-0 at home in Crenshaw Gym. Sophomore guard Buzz Anthony was named All-America Second Team.Over the past four seasons, Boggs has helped the Yellow Jackets win four consecutive ODAC regular-season titles.
2. Abdul Madison | New Jersey City
Abdul Madison, a 2006 inductee into theNew Jersey City UniversityAthletics Hall of Fame after a standout career for the Gothic Knights, is in his 8th year as assistant men’s basketball coach at his alma mater during the 2020-21 campaign. In his first year as Gothic Knight assistant coach, NJCU qualified for the NJAC and ECAC Tournaments and won 14 games while leading the league in scoring defense (63.0points per game), blocked shots and defensive rebound percentage. NJCU was 23rd nationally in scoring defense.The 2016-17 Gothic Knights went 21-8 and played in the NJAC and ECAC post season tournaments. With Madison on sidelines assisting head coach Marc Brown NJCU has went to the post season the last 5 years. Madison mentored and developed NJAC three time Player of the Year and three time All American Sam Toney. He previously was head coach for four years (2009-13) for 15-16 year olds at the Athletes of tomorrow.
Rob Stallion enters his fifth season on the Pioneer Men’s Basketball coaching staff. Stallion served as a graduate assistant coach during his first two years on staff.In 2015, advanced into his current position as assistant coach. Primary responsibilities for the Pioneer’s include recruiting, opponent scouting, player development, and on-floor coaching assignments. UW-Platteville has won 65 games the past 3 years and advanced to the NCAA tournament all 3 seasons. The 2019-20 team went 23-5 winning the WIAC conference championship and advancing to the NCAA tournament which was cancelled due to COVID.. The 2019-20 team also received the NABC team academic
3. Rob Stallion | UW Platteville
4. Ricky Hernandez | John Hopkins
Ricky Hernandez returns for his second season with the Blue Jays. He came to Hopkins after a two-year stint at Moravian College where he was an assistant coach for the Greyhounds. In his time in Bethlehem, Hernandez helped Moravian to 39 wins, a pair of Landmark Conference regular season championships, the 2018 Landmark Conference tournament title and an NCAA Tournament appearance. The 2019-20 Blue Jays completed the season 24-4 including 16-2 conference record. They won the Centennial Conference tournament upsetting the #1 seed Swarthmore. In Hernandez's first year on the staff (2016-17), the Greyhounds won 19 games -the most wins by the program since 1987-88 -tying the school record. This past year, the team set the school record for wins (20), as well as the records for points (2,385), field goals (825), three-point field goals (322), assists (455), blocks (111) and steals (317). He coached four all-conference selections as well as one D3hoops All-Mid-Atlantic honoree. Prior to Moravian, Hernandez spent two years on the staff at Division II East Stroudsburg, where he was a graduate assistant coach. He coached two Honorable Mention All-Americans as well as three All-PSAC players and helped the Warriors to the 2015 PSAC East Championship. Hernandez has also coached at number camps and clinics along the East Coast for the last eight years.
5. Daniel Ellis | Wittenberg
Daniel Ellis enters his third year on staff as an assistant basketball coach at Wittenberg University.In his first two seasons with the Tigers, Ellis has worked with the Wittenberg post players helping develop Connor Seipel and James Johnson to achieve All-NCAC honors. Ellis has been heavily involved in the recruiting process of the last two classes, taking an emphasis on the Southwest Ohio area. 2019-20 witnessed the Tigers going 28-2 overall and 17-1 in conference. The Tigers started the season on a 14 game winning streak. Ellis previously spent four seasons at Berry University, assisting in all aspects of coaching, including the development of guard play, shooting, and day-to-day operations. In addition, Ellis assisted with the program’s transition to NCAA Division III. During his final year at Berry, he helped the Vikings to an (SAA) Tournament Championship and the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA National Tournament. Ellis, a native of Springfield, Ohio, started his college coaching career during the 2010-2011 season as an assistant coach at Thomas More College, his alma mater, he helped the Saints to a 71-39 record over a four-year period. During that time at Thomas More, the team had back-to-back 20-win seasons capped off by a 23-5 record in 2012-2013, setting the school record for most wins in a season.He also helped the Saints to the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Tournament championship game each of his last three seasons. Ellis also helped mentor and develop D’Carlo Hayes at Thomas More, an All-American guard and PAC Player-of-the-Year while having the privilege to work alongside two-time PAC Coach-of-the-Year Jeff Rogers at both Thomas More College and Berry College.
6. Mike Gregg | Mount Union
Mike Gregg is in his second year as an assistant men's basketball coach at Mount Union. Gregg is no stranger to the program as he was a student assistant in his four years at Mount Union and has worked summer camps on campus for a number of years.The Raiders have won 49 games in the 2 years Gregg has been an assistant coach on head coach Mike Fuline staff. 2019-20 saw the Raiders go 27-3 which is the most wins in school history and they won the Ohio Athletic Conference championship. More impressive they closed the COVID shortened season on a 19 game winning streak including 2 wins in the NCAA tournament. John Carroll and Tanner Slack were namedto the NABC Academic Honor Roll. Gregg recruited and mentored OAC Player of the Year and D-3 All American Nathan Bower-Malone. The Raiders have been one of the leading teams in game attendance over the past 2 seasons.
7.Dijon Knight | North Central
Dijon Knight begins his 3rd season on the sidelines as the assistant to Head Coach Todd Raridon. The Cardinals have won 46 games in the 2 seasons including a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin(CCIW) championship. They have participated in the NCAA D-3 tournament both years with Knight on the bench. 2018-19 season witnessed the Cardinals go 23-6 overall 12-4 in conference and an incredible 11-1 in road games winning the CCIW championship. Conner Raridon was selected CCIW Player of the Year and 1st team All American. 2019-20 saw the Cardinals maintain their high level play as they finished the season 23-6 and ranked #6 in the country in the D3Hoops regular season final poll. Connor Raridon was named CCIW Player of the Year and 1st team All American again. Matt Cappelletti, Matthew Helwig, Michael Pollack and Matt Smietanski were all named to the NABC academic honor roll.
Coach Blow led the 2019-20 VSU team to a 19-9 overall record 12-3 CIAA. He led the VSU Trojans to the best season in the history of the program in 2018-19. The Trojans finished with a 28-5 record, won the CIAA Championship and finished the season ranked #11 in country. They were the #3 ranked team in the Atlantic Region and advanced to the Regional Semi-Finals for the third time in four years. Coach Blow was named CIAA Coach of the Year for the fourth time, and won his third CIAA Championship. Coach Blow was also named 2019 Atlantic Region Co-Coach of the Year, HBCU Mid-Mid-Major Coach of the Year, Box-to-Row, and the Clarence “Big House” Gaines Coach of the Year Award. In 2017-18 Coach Blow led the VSU Trojans to the #1 Ranking in the Atlantic Region, (Regional Tournament Host), making school history, while posting a 26-5 record. Coach Blow’s Trojans also were CIAA Northern Champions, Coach Lonnie Blow, Jr was named CIAA Coach of the Year, his 3rd time winning that award. His team reached the NCAA Atlantic Region Tournament round of 32 (Regional Semi-Finalist), for the 2nd time in 3 years. The 26-5 was the record for the best in school history until the 2018-19 season.
Head Coach Damien Blair completed his 12th season at the helm of the Golden Rams in 2019-20. In his 12 seasons with the Purple & Gold, Blair boasts a 224-122 (.647) overall record with four NCAA Tournament appearances in the last seven years. Blair has orchestrated a 150-84 (.641) mark in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) contests throughout his tenure, and under his tutelage, the Golden Rams have landed inside the top-three of the PSAC East standings nine times, including six second-place finishes. West Chester has advanced to the PSAC Championship Game on three occasions. The West Chester University alum boasts a 10-10 record in the PSAC Tournament and a 1-4 record in the NCAA Tournament. The 2019-20 campaign saw West Chester finishing the regular season with a 20-10 record, including a 13-game win streak to start the year, to earn third place in the PSAC East standings. With West Chester sitting at 13-0 to start the winter, the Golden Rams climbed to as high as eighth in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II national poll - it's highest ranking since 1983 - the school's first year at Division II, after re-classifying from Division I the previous year.
MCA ANNOUNCES TOP 8 DIVISION II BASKETBALL COACHES (2019-20)
(in alphabetical order)