Emporia State men’s basketball coach Craig Doty has announced Evan Lavery has been elevated to associate head coach.
“When we hired Coach Lavery three years ago I told him we would name him associate head coach once we got the program to .500 in the MIAA,” Doty stated. “While we achieved that goal this year, the reality is, he has been operating like an associate head coach since his arrival at Emporia State. Coach Lavery is a tireless worker, a good recruiter, and a great person.”
Lavery helps lead the Hornet defense which has been one of the MIAA’s most effective defenses over the past two seasons. After finishing third in the MIAA in field goal percentage defense at 43.4% in 2019-20 the Hornets finished second at 43.9% in 2020-21 while allowing only 71.4 points per game, also second in the MIAA. Last season Emporia State earned votes in the NCAA Division II national poll for the first time in 13 years after starting off MIAA play with a 5-1 record.
“Coach Lavery pours his soul into our program and our student-athletes. We all benefit because of him,” Doty continued. “His loyalty to our university and to me is unwavering and he has earned the trust of his colleagues throughout the department and beyond. Simply put, Coach Lavery is a professional and is deserving of the new title of associate head coach.”
A native of Dyer, Ind., Lavery served as an assistant coach, associate head coach, and head coach at Rock Valley (Ill.) College prior to his arrival at Emporia State. Lavery was on the staff for two national championship at RVC prior to taking the reigns as head coach of the Golden Eagles. In his five years the Golden Eagles went 144-27 (.842), made three trips to the NJCAA DIII National Tournament, and won two NJCAA National Championships. His 2017-18 team posted 27 wins – the fourth highest single-season total in the history of the program.
Emporia State ended the COVID shortened 2020-21 season with an 11-11 record in the MIAA regular season and advanced to the MIAA Tournament before falling to eventual nation champion Northwest Missouri. The 11 wins in the MIAA were a seven game improvement over the 2019-20 season and the biggest jump in the MIAA this past year. It was the first time the Hornets have been at least .500 in MIAA play since going 10-9 in 2013-14 and the most wins in conference play since going 12-10 in 2010-11.