Oberlin College Associate Vice President for Athletics Advancement and Delta Lodge Director of Athletics & Physical Education Natalie Winkelfoos announced the appointment of Shiva (SHE-vah) Senthil as the school’s head men’s basketball coach.
Senthil comes to Oberlin after a successful three-year tenure as the head coach at SUNY-Canton in Canton, New York.
“We had an incredibly talented pool of candidates. Shiva quickly impressed us all with his intelligence and championship mindset,” Winkelfoos said. “His thoughtfulness, energy and appreciation for our institution as a whole will serve our community and basketball program very well.”
In his first season in upstate New York, Senthil led the Roos to their first-ever NCAA Tournament after winning the 2020 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) championship, finishing the year with a 16-12 record and 10-4 mark in the NAC. In that same season, four of his players earned All-NAC honors, headlined by NAC Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-NAC recipient Andrew Fitch, who repeated those accolades in 2021-22.
This past season, Senthil led the Roos through three different COVID pauses to a 13-12 record and 8-4 mark in the NAC before falling in the conference quarterfinals. The Roos led the nation in defensive rebounding at 34.4 per game and were 13th in the country in total rebounds per game (44.36).
Known as a dynamic recruiter and great defensive mind, Senthil transformed the make-up of the Roos’ roster while morphing them into one of the nation’s elite defensive teams, ranking within the top 10 in defensive field goal percentage and blocks, in addition to their stellar rebounding.
En route to earning a 22-10 record in the NAC, Senthil mentored seven all-conference players, three NAC Defensive Player of the Year recipients, and one NAC Tournament MVP.
“I would like to thank President Ambar, Natalie Winkelfoos, Creg Jantz, and the rest of the search committee for trusting me to be the next head men’s basketball coach at Oberlin College,” Senthil said. “I am very excited to get on campus and start building this tremendous program. I cannot wait to spend time with the team as we look to lead this program to the top of the North Coast Athletic Conference.”
One of just 30 honorees nationally across all divisions to be named to the 2019-20 Under Armour / National Association of Basketball Coaches 30-under-30 team, Senthil was also a finalist for the HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year award.
Prior to his arrival at SUNY-Canton, Senthil spent the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach at the University of Chicago, helping the Maroons record 15 wins, which included four victories against Top 25 teams. He has additional coaching stops as an assistant at Clarkson University (2016-18), SUNY-Purchase (2015-16) and Michigan-Dearborn (2014-15).
As a player, Senthil helped Hartwick College reach the NCAA Tournament two times (2011, 2012) and in 2014 he was part of the Hawks return to the national stage as a student assistant coach.
Senthil graduated from Hartwick in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He went on to earn his MBA from Clarkson University in 2018.
He will officially begin his duties at Oberlin on May 1.