St. Ambrose men’s basketball coach Ray Shovlain became the 21st NAIA coach all-time and one of just four currently active NAIA coaches to reach 700 career wins with his 78-66 victory over Iowa Wesleyan Thursday night. He is the 63rd men’s basketball coach to reach the plateau across the NAIA and all three divisions of the NCAA.
“I have been blessed with the honor and privilege to teach and coach at this great University for a number of years. I thank the University leadership and administration for this great opportunity,” commented Shovlain.
“I definitely want to thank my beautiful wife Betsy and my two great kids, Katelyn and Sean, for all the sacrifices they have made and the support they have provided me. I’d also like to thank my mom and dad for all the opportunities they provided and the values they instilled in me and of all my brothers and sisters. We lacked for nothing important during our childhood.”
“I was blessed with outstanding assistant coaches like our current assistants, Coach Jim Kiss and Coach Murphy Carter. We never have had a full-time assistant so the outstanding hard work and effort from all these coaches is even more special and appreciated. My assistant coaches have included two of my brothers, Coach Joe and Coach Dave, and a brother-in-law, Coach John Doyle. All three continue to contribute to our success.
“The most important group is all the quality student-athletes and their families that made this success happen. I am very appreciative of all the time, effort and sacrifice they made to ensure the program’s success.”
Shovlain was hired at St. Ambrose back in 1983. During his tenure, the program has earned 10 NAIA National Tournament appearances and four Sweet 16 finishes, including the school’s first and only trip to the Final Four in 2004, when the team set a school record for most victories in a single season (32).