43-yr old becomes fastest in NAIA history to 500 wins, also youngest NAIA or NCAA D1 coach to accomplish feat
Basketball history was made Saturday afternoon as Indiana Wesleyan Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Greg Tonagel earned his 500th career win. In just the beginning of his 19th season at the helm, Tonagel accomplished the feat needing just 629 games, the fastest at the NAIA level. In his career, Tonagel has won 79% of his games, 13 regular season conference championships, and garnered 81 All-Conference Players and 24 NAIA All-Americans. Tonagel surpassed Coach Mike Lightfoot, who reached the feat in 659 games.
Taking the helm of the Wildcat program at the age of 24, Tonagel is the youngest men’s basketball coach in the history of NCAA D1 and the NAIA to 500 wins. Only five coaches in the history of men’s basketball have reached the milestone before their 21st season: Mark Few did it in 18 seasons, Roy Williams did it 19, and John Calipari, Bill Self, and Jerry Tarkanian, accomplished it in 20. Greg Marshall, Jim Boeheim, Bob Huggins, Tom Izzo and Billy Donovan all did it in their 21st seasons.
“Anytime a coach achieves something that has never been done before in their sport, it is a great opportunity to stop and recognize both the coach and those that made a milestone like this possible,” said Deane Webb, Director of Athletics. “What has happened competitively for IWU men’s basketball in the last 18 years is incredible, and it pales in comparison to what God has done in the lives of the young men in the program. Lives have been changed inside the program, and God has chosen to use men’s basketball to impact many lives outside the program as well. Congratulations to Greg and his staff, and I look forward to seeing what is to come for IWU Men’s Basketball!”
Beyond the 500 wins, the mission of I AM THIRD remains more essential and evident inside the culture and growth of the many players who have donned the red and grey. To hear from Coach Tonagel on this occasion and what truly has fueled this accomplishment, click HERE.
The red and gray will return to Luckey Arena on November 2 for their home opener against No. 12-ranked Union College.