D2 NEWS: Diener resigns as Head Basketball Coach at Rockhurst University

Rockhurst University Director of Athletics Kristy Bayer announced Monday (March 25) that Drew Diener has resigned from his position as Head Men’s Basketball Coach.

“I’d like to thank former (athletic director) Gary Burns and current (athletic director) Kristy Bayer for their support during my tenure. The sense of community at Rockhurst is what has made it most special,” Diener said. “I have made so many lifelong friends with colleagues while leading this program. In addition, I count several of the alums I have connected with as close friends. I have loved so many of the guys who have played for me and are currently playing here at Rockhurst. I believe, together, we built a strong culture over the course of nine years.”

Diener’s teams posted a 121-129 record overall and a 79-95 league record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Rockhurst made six GLVC Tournament appearances since 2016. His teams regularly received the Team Academic Excellence Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, in addition to hosting local elementary students at a home game every year.

“I would like to thank Coach Diener for his nine years of service to the basketball program, athletic department, and institution,” Bayer said. “He has been an excellent role model for these young men. He not only passionately cared about his program, but he was a huge supporter of our campus community. He truly lived out our Jesuit values in his day-to-day professional life. We will miss having Coach Diener as a part of our athletic department, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Prior to joining Rockhurst in 2015, Diener spent six seasons as the head coach at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he compiled a 168-43 record. In 2012-13, he led Stritch to a 35-3 overall record and the NAIA Division II National Championship. He was named NABC/NAIA UPS National Coach of the Year and Rawlings NAIA Division II Coach of the Year.

Diener is a graduate of Saint Louis University and a former standout guard for the Billikens. He had previously been an assistant coach at the University of Virginia and a graduate assistant coach at DePaul University.

An All-American high school player in Wisconsin, Diener played for his father, Dick, at Fond du Lac’s Goodrich High School. Dick has served as Drew’s assistant coach for the past nine years.

“It has been an amazing experience coaching alongside my dad. Those memories are extra special,” Diener added. “I am especially blessed to have the support of my wife, Kelly, throughout my career and this process. I will forever be a fan of Rockhurst University.”

A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.


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