It seemed like Head Coach John Henry’s milestone was possibly going to have to wait another game, but a lights-out performance in the second half lifted the Statesmen men’s basketball team to an 83-64 Heart of America Athletic Conference victory Saturday.
#9 William Penn (21-5, 14-4 Heart) trailed by three at intermission, but blew out the Crusaders (6-20, 5-13 Heart) by hitting 62.9% of their second-stanza attempts as Coach Henry collected his 300th career win (300-183, .621 winning pct.)–all at his alma mater. The win also keeps WPU in a tie with MidAmerican Nazarene (Kan.) atop the Heart standings.
Henry has produced 35 all-conference performers, 11 All-Americans, 66 academic all-conference selections, and 19 NAIA Scholar-Athletes. His 279 wins puts him in the top 20 among active NAIA men’s basketball coaches. He is also in the top 20 on the active list with his .621 winning percentage.
Henry became the Statesmen head coach seven games into the 2001-2002 season and has since turned the program into a perennial power. He has headed four teams to Midwest Collegiate Conference titles (2006, 2007, 2008, 2013) and five to NAIA Division II National Tournaments (2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014). Nine of his squads have reached the MCC Tournament Finals (four titles in 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014), while the 2013 team won a school-record 34 games, highlighted by a 20-game winning streak.
The 2012-2013 campaign was memorable for much more than its win total as the Statesmen also garnered their first-ever #1 ranking. William Penn entered nationals as the top seed and not only won its first game ever down in Point Lookout, Mo., but made a great run all the way to the NAIA championship game. William Penn, which was undefeated at home (14-0) and in league play (12-0), reached 100 points on 11 occasions during the season.
The 2013-2014 squad was no slouch either. After starting 0-4, the team had winning streaks of nine and ten games, surprising the NAIA world by reaching the national quarterfinals as the #27 seed.
The MCC Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2013, Henry was a former Statesmen basketball player, graduating from William Penn in 1997 with a degree in physical education and recreation. After graduation, he coached and taught at the high school level at North Mahaska, Oskaloosa, Clarinda Academy, and Twin Cedars.
After returning to his alma mater, Henry also served as the head men’s and women’s cross country coach in 2000 and 2001. He was named MCC Coach of the Year in 2001 for both the men and women after both squads won league titles. The men’s team also captured the NAIA Region VII championship in 2001 and competed in the NAIA National Championships.
Photo Courtesy WPU Athletics