Green Bay Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie announced today that the contract of men’s basketball head coach Linc Darnerhas been extended two years through the 2021-22 season. Darner, who recently completed his first season for the Phoenix, led his team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years after winning the 2016 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship in thrilling fashion.
Green Bay, which went 23-13 overall this past season, won four games in four days in the first-ever #MotorCityMadness in Detroit at historic Joe Louis Arena. The fourth-seeded Phoenix knocked off Cleveland State, Milwaukee, top-seeded Valparaiso and Wright State on its way to its first conference tournament title since 1996.
“This was an outstanding year for our men’s basketball program. Linc had a plan for this program from day one and he and his staff work tirelessly to execute that plan. Linc is our guy and we want him at Green Bay,” Gillespie said.
Darner, who was hired on April 14, 2015, brought a new style of play to Titletown in 2015-16, dubbed RP40. That up-tempo, high pressure style of play led the Phoenix to a historic run in March and also helped Green Bay lead the NCAA in a couple of key statistical categories. Darner’s squad led the nation in total steals and free throw attempts, while ranking second in steals per game and sixth in points per game.
Under the tutelage of Darner, seniors Jordan Fouse and Carrington Love enjoyed some of the best statistical seasons of their illustrious careers. Both players landed on the Horizon All-League Teams, All-Defensive Teams and All-Tournament Teams. Love earned First Team All-League honors while Fouse was named the Horizon League Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
“I’m very excited about this extension and the future of Green Bay basketball. We had a very successful season but also have a lot of work left to do. We will continue to work hard, do things the right way and bring exciting basketball to the fans of Green Bay. I want to thank Mary Ellen (Gillespie) and Chancellor Miller for getting this done and continuing to show their strong support for my staff and our program,” Darner said.
The additions of JUCO-transfers Charles Cooper and Jamar Hurdle also played key in the Phoenix’s success this year, two recruits brought in by Darner and his staff this past spring. His staff has also signed Trevor Anderson and Kam Hankerson for 2016-17, and both players are highly touted in the recruiting landscape.
All 12 players to play this past season posted new career highs in points per game under Darner, while the majority set new career highs in multiple statistical categories. ReturnersKhalil Small, Kenneth Lowe, Turner Botz and Tevin Findlay all developed nicely in Darner’s first year, with all playing an instrumental part in their team’s 2015-16 success.
Darner’s 2015-16 team also shattered a variety of team season records, including points, steals, rebounds, free throws made and attempted.
The Indiana-native has an all-time head coaching record of 315-130 and has now won 20 or more games in nine-consecutive seasons.
Photo Courtesy Green Bay Athletics