OFFICIAL: Doty Named Head Coach at Graceland University

Following up on a rumor that posted yesterday

Graceland University Athletic Director Joe Worlund announced the hiring of Craig Doty to the position of Head Men’s Basketball Coach for the 2016-17 season.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Craig Doty, a tremendously successful NJCAA coach, to the Yellowjacket Athletics family. In 4 years at the helm, he developed the Golden Eagles into the one of the nation’s premier basketball programs. Craig’s record at Rock Valley College which included 2 National Championships speaks for itself, but even more importantly, he shares our athletic program’s values,” Worlund said. “Craig’s energy and competitiveness are unmistakable, but his commitment to the academic and personal development of our student athletes will be second-to-none. We have full confidence in Craig’s leadership and look forward to a new era of Yellowjacket Basketball under his guidance.”

Craig Doty is entering his 1st season as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Graceland University in 2016-17.

He inherits a Yellowjacket team that finished 17-15 (12-12 in the Heart) during the 2015-16 season.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Graceland University family. I want to thank President John Sellars, Vice President Scott Briell, Athletic Director Joe Worlund, and the entire athletics staff at Graceland,” commented Doty. “When you step foot on the beautiful Lamoni, Iowa campus you instantly feel the “family-first” culture. The opportunity to be the head coach at a prestigious academic institution in the Heart of America Athletic Conference was too good to pass up. My family and I are excited to make the move to Iowa, a state where I have spent many years of my life, and build Graceland men’s basketball into a nationally recognized program.”

Doty spent four years at Rock Valley College where he built a program from the bottom up. In 2012, Rock Valley was ranked last in N4C Conference/Region IV preseason poll.  Over the next four years, Doty would put Rock Valley College on the national map leading the Golden Eagles to four consecutive national tournaments including three consecutive national title games. Rock Valley was crowed National Champions in 2014 and again in 2016, the first and second national championships in the 50 year program history. RVC would earn national runner-up in 2015.

In the process, Doty compiled an 113-28 record (.801), his 2015-16 team broke the program record for wins in a season (33), and he led the Golden Eagles to the #1 ranking in the country for the first time in program history on October 27th, 2014. RVC has held on to the #1 ranking for each of the past two years which includes 24 national polls. When the next poll is released in October of 2016, RVC will have been ranked #1 in the country for 729 consecutive days.

Doty has been recognized as the Spalding NJCAA Division III National Coach of the Year (2014) and the NJCAA Coaches Association Division III Coach of the Year (2014).  In both 2014 and 2016 he was named the Gary S. Cole Coach of the National Tournament after leading RVC to National Championships in each of those seasons. Doty has been honored with the following awards for an unprecendented four times each (in four seasons): the Don Klaas Region IV Coach of the Year, the NJCAA District 2 Coach of the Year and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year. In May of 2014 and 2016, Doty was selected to coach the NJCAA All-Star game in Las Vegas, NV.

In 2015-16, the Golden Eagles started off the season #1 in the national polls and ended the season as National Champions.  En route to their National Title, RVC won their six post-season games by an average margin of victory of 21.3 points per game. For a third straight season, Rock Valley broke the single-season record for victories, posting a 33-3 record.

In 2014-15, Doty’s Golden Eagles had a target on their back all season. As defending National Champions with a #1 national ranking and playing one of the toughest schedules in all of NJCAA (including playing 16 scholarship NJCAA D1/D2 opponents) RVC stepped up to the challenge. The Golden Eagles won the Region IV Championship, won the N4C Conference with a 13-1 conference record and went 13-3 vs. scholarship opponents while not losing to an NJCAA Division III opponent until the national championship game where they fell 67-64 to Richland College (Dallas, TX).

In 2013-14, Doty’s second season at RVC, he led the Golden Eagles to a 30-5 record and the NJCAA Division III National Championship.

In 2012-13, his first season on the sidelines at RVC, Doty wasted little time establishing the program on a national level.  Picked to finish last in the N4C Conference/Region IV pre-season poll, the Golden Eagles consistently improved throughout the season and stormed to a Region IV championship. Despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the country, which consisted of 15 NJCAA DI/DII schools, RVC finished with a 19-16 record and ended the season receiving votes in the national polls.

Doty led the Golden Eagles to only their second NJCAA national tournament appearance since the program started in 1965. RVC finished seventh at the NJCAA DIII national tournament, which included a tournament win over the #2 ranked team in the country, Rochester CTC.

Prior to his arrival at Rock Valley College, Doty served as an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at University of Sioux Falls (NCAA Division II) in South Dakota.  In 2011-12, Doty was an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Riverland Community College (NJCAA Division III) in Minnesota.

Prior to the start of the 2010-11 season.  Doty was hired by Jamie Stevens as his full-time Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach/Recruiting Coordinator at Central Wyoming College (NJCAA Division I). Following the season, Doty served as Interim Head Men’s Basketball Coach for nearly two months at CWC. With only one returner, Doty received nine commitments and recruited a roster that would go on to achieve a 20-11 record the following season.

A native of Alcester, South Dakota, Doty came to CWC after serving as an Assistant Coach at his Alma Mater Morningside College (NAIA Division II) in Sioux City, Iowa. During Doty’s tenure as a player and a coach at Morningside College, the Mustangs had a 56-37 record, made the Sweet Sixteen of the NAIA DII National Tournament, held a National Ranking of #10 in the country, and won a Great Plains Athletic Conference title.

Doty is a graduate of Alcester-Hudson High School. In his senior season, Doty set the school record for points per game in a season with an average of 25.5. His junior season, Doty led his squad to a 17-4 record and a number four ranking in the state of South Dakota.

Doty has a “family first,” approach. Not only is his seven-year old son Braylon a frequent visitor to the men’s basketball offices but you will nearly always see him at every game. Doty treats his student-athletes like his family by challenging, praising, connecting with, and loving them. This is all with the goal of helping each student-athlete progress academically, socially, and athletically and ultimately helping create successful future professionals, fathers, husbands, and community members.

Doty graduated from Morningside College with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a minor in Business Administration.

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