Already the winningest head coach in program history, University of Northwestern head men’s basketball coach Tim Grosz reached another milestone Saturday, as the 47-year-old tallied win No. 300 (At Northwestern) with the Eagles’ 87-78 triumph over the University of Wisconsin-Superior (7-9, 4-4) inside the Ericksen Center. Northwestern improved to 13-3 overall on the year and 6-2 in loop play.
Taking leadership of the team in 2000, Grosz led the Eagles to back-to-back regular season and post-season tournament championships in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) in 2000–01 and 2001–02. He also orchestrated the program advancing to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II national championship tournament in each of those seasons as Northwestern lost just two conference games throughout that time span. Grosz was recognized as the UMAC Conference Coach of the Year in both campaigns.
The 2003–04 and 2004–05 Eagles squads added two more UMAC regular season titles before the 2005–06 squad captured a share of the regular season conference championship, marking the fifth conference crown in a span of six seasons for the Northwestern program. The Eagles’ 20-7 (.741) overall record in 2005–06 set a new program record for the highest single-season winning percentage, the seven losses marked the fewest ever in a season, and the 20 victories was the first 20-win season for the program since the 1997–98 campaign. Grosz surpassed the 100-win career plateau in 2005–06, hitting the milestone faster than any other head coach in Northwestern men’s basketball history. After making an appearance in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Tournament in 2006–07, Grosz’s squad posted its third straight 20-win season in 2007–08, finishing 20-9.
In 2009-10, Grosz’s team once again suprassed the 20-win mark in a season that ended with the program’s first NCCAA Division I National Championship. The Eagles won their 18th outright conference championship that same year, while Grosz was chosen as the UMAC Coach of the Year. 2010-11 proved to be yet another landmark year for Grosz’s team, as Northwestern won both the UMAC regular season and conference tournament championships to earn the league’s first-ever automatic qualifying berth into the NCAA Tournament. Grosz has added three more NCAA Tournament trips to Northwestern’s resume in 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14 with the Eagles claiming their 10th and 11th UMAC regular season trophies in the head coach’s 14 years in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
While Northwestern received its fifth straight NCAA Tournament bid in 2014-2015 after a 14-0 UMAC regular season, UNW made a name for itself with upset victories in the first and secound rounds over No. 3 St. Thomas and Elmhurst to advance to the Sweet 16. That run, which was on the tail end of a program-record 18-game winning streak, led to the Eagles being ranked No. 25 in the D3hoops.com final Top 25 poll for the first time in program history. Grosz was named the D3Hoops.com West Region Coach of the Year in 2015.
Photo Courtesy UNW Athletics