Doane College Athletic Director Jill McCartney announced today the promotion of Ian McKeithen to head coach for the men’s basketball program. McKeithen joined the Tiger coaching staff this past year as an assistant coach and has served as the interim head coach since the position became open following the departure of Jim Weeks.
Coach McKeithen has several years of college coaching experience under his belt and is very familiar with the NAIA, dating back to his playing days at Dakota State University (S.D.).
“During his time at Doane, Ian has shown that he is a knowledgeable and hard-working coach who cares greatly about providing a positive and supportive student-athlete experience,” McCartney said. “Coach McKeithen has impressed me with his passion for Doane and his commitment to all of the young men in our basketball program. His previous experience as a head coach at the college level is definitely a key asset. He not only knows what it takes to run all phases of a college basketball program, but he also appreciates all that Doane has to offer.”
His coaching career started as a student coach at DSU followed by a graduate assistant position at NCAA Division II Augustana University (S.D.). He also served as an assistant coach at Dakota State and Iowa Wesleyan University. McKeithen was named the first head coach at Benedictine University-Springfield (Ill.) in 2012 and held the position for three years until the school announced it was discontinuing the athletic programs. He has also served as a basketball operations intern for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“Ian embraces our Athletics mission of providing opportunities for student-athletes to reach their highest potential in competition, the classroom, the community, and their character,” McCartney added. “As a coach, he wants to win, but Ian’s grounded in the belief that there’s a bigger picture to what winning looks like beyond the wins and losses on the basketball court.”
McKeithen’s NAIA playing career started when he transferred to Dakota State and played two seasons for the Trojans. He averaged 10.3 points per game and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 45.9-percent over 59 games. Between two collegiate stops, he scored over 1,000 career points.
At Benedictine-Springfield he was provided the opportunity to build a program from scratch. In his first year with the Bulldogs, a NAIA Division I school, the team finished with six wins. The next two seasons featured double-digit victories, 15 and 14 respectively, and three post-season victories. He displayed the ability to build his program despite not having a home facility, utilizing a Gold’s Gym for practices and games off-campus.
“I want to thank Coach Weeks for bringing me on as an assistant coach this year at Doane,” McKeithen said. “He and his family have been very gracious during my time here and I appreciate everything I learned while working for him. I am thrilled and blessed to be given the opportunity to be the next men’s basketball coach at Doane. In my brief time here, I have been extremely impressed with our campus, faculty, staff, coaches, and our players. I believe that we can create a great basketball experience for everyone here at Doane and the town of Crete for years to come. Doane is a special place and there are so many exciting opportunities here to look forward to. I can’t wait to get started!”
Additionally McKeithen added, “I’d like to thank Jill McCartney for giving this amazing opportunity to my family and me. I look forward to working with her to build a program that everyone will be proud of on and off the floor.”
The Tigers will look to bounce back from a 10-20 record this past year and 6-14 mark in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Photo Courtesy Doane Athletics