OFFICIAL: Doty named Head Basketball Coach at Houston Christian

I mentioned this move in yesterday’s DAILY DIRT…it’s now official. Emporia State head coach Craig Doty has been hired at Houston Christian. Here’s the release from HCU:

HCU President Dr. Robert B. Sloan and Director of Athletics Steve Moniaci announced the hiring of Craig Doty, a three-time national champion coach and three-time national coach of the year, as the school’s new James Sears Bryant Head Men’s Basketball Coach on Friday afternoon. Doty will be introduced in a press conference at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Mar. 18, inside Denham Hall on the HCU campus.

“We are very excited that Craig Doty has come to HCU to lead our men’s basketball program,” said Sloan. “He has a remarkable record of success in building enthusiasm among students and alumni, developing and graduating players, and producing winning seasons. I am confident that Coach Doty will greatly add to our historic traditions in men’s basketball.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Craig Doty, his wife Alexys, and his children, Braylon, Calvin, Amery and Sienna, to the HCU family,” stated Moniaci. “Craig has proven his ability to win at every level he has coached at while also ensuring his players excel in the classroom and in their community. It quickly became evident during our coaching search that Coach Doty was the best fit for our program, and University, and we fully expect him to come in and achieve great things at HCU.”

“First, I want to thank the Lord for this opportunity,” Doty said. “I want to thank HCU President Dr. Sloan, Director of Athletics Steve Moniaci, Deputy Athletic Director Stan Williamson, and James and Ann Bryant. All five of you played a vital role in allowing my family the opportunity to move to Houston to join a prestigious institution like HCU. Thank you for your belief in me and your vision to reimaging and reinvigorate the men’s basketball program.”

“I would like to thank and honor Coach Ron Cottrell and his coaching staffs who spent the last 33 years leading the HCU basketball program,” added Doty. “This includes long-time assistants Steven Key and Jud Kinne as well as many other assistants. Ron and his staff dominated the NAIA and Red River Conference days of the 90’s and early 2000’s. They fearlessly led the program back to the NCAA Division I level, through the probationary period, to the Great West Conference, and to the Southland Conference. It is a privilege to follow Coach Cottrell and build on his body of work. The future success of the program is possible because of the foundation he laid and I hope he can celebrate our forthcoming milestones with gratitude knowing the impact he made.”

Doty comes to HCU by way of Emporia State where he has led the Hornets to a 97-76 overall record over the course of six seasons, including a 23-9 record in 2022-23 for the best season in program history. He took over an ESU program for the 2018-19 season following a 9-19 performance the year before and guided the Hornets to a 14-16 overall record in his first season. ESU reached double-digit win totals in each of the next two seasons, including an 11-11 mark in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association play during the Covid-impacted 2020-21 season.

The following two seasons saw the Hornets post back-to-back 20+-win seasons for the first time since moving to Division II in 1990 with a combined record of 43-18 across the two years. Doty guided Emporia State to an at-large bid to the Division II National Tournament in 2022-23 along with the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win in the first round over Northern State.

During his tenure at Emporia State, Doty coached the program’s first all-American since 2003, Tray Buchanan, and guided 16 players to Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association all-conference honors. He also placed an emphasis on improvement off the court while at ESU, overseeing an improvement in team GPA by a full point that saw the Hornets consistently posting a team GPA above 3.0. In 2022, ESU men’s basketball ranked first in the NCAA Division II men’s basketball Helper Helper report that tracked service hours by NCAA student-athletes for the 2021-22 year.

“I want to express my gratitude to Emporia State for your support and love during our ESU tenure,” said Doty. “The Emporia community is special. Alexys and I not only raised our four children in the community but we also watched your children grow, too. It was a special time in our family’s life that we will cherish forever.”

“Thanks to my wife and children, my parents, my assistants, and our former student-athletes,” he continued. “College athletics is all about people and creating value for others. Thanks for partnering with me each day as we pressed forward to make degree progress, impact our community, and win games and championships.”

Prior to Emporia State, Doty spent two seasons at Graceland University where he posted an impressive 49-22 record in two seasons and led the Yellowjackets to the 2018 NAIA Division I national championship while earning NAIA National Coach of the Year, the 2018 Don Meyer Award and NAIA National Coach of the Year honors. During that national championship campaign, Graceland posted a record of 29-10 following a 20-12 record in his first season.

Doty spent four seasons as the head coach at Rock Valley College before his move to Graceland that included two NJCAA Division III national titles in 2014 and 2016 along with a national runner-up finish in 2015. He was named the NJCAA Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in both 2014 and 2016 and led Rock Valley to a No. 1 national ranking for 729 consecutive days. His first year at Rock Valley, The Golden Eagles posted a record of 19-16 in Doty’s first year, 2012-13, and then totaled at least 30 wins in each of the next three seasons.

In 12 seasons as a head coach, Doty has compiled an overall record of 259-126 with a 136-92 record in conference play. He has totaled seven 20+ win seasons with a winning record in nine of his 12 seasons.

Prior to his first head coach position at Rock Valley, Doty spent time as an assistant coach at University of Sioux Falls, Riverland Community College, Central Wyoming College and his alma mater, Morningside College. Doty graduated from Morningside College with a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Business Administration.

Tagged with: