Author Topic: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches  (Read 14743 times)

Offline Greek Tragedy

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Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« on: April 25, 2020, 06:26:17 pm »
Recent conversations on this with Amherst's Hixon retiring recently...

I figured I'd centralize the conversation.


I dint think anyone - and especially Hixon - is saying hes the GOAT of D3 coaches, Dave.   But hes certainly on Mt. Rushmore!

So who's on Mt. Rushmore? We talk total wins, but should we also talk winning %? I mean, Brett Favre was at the top for a long time for TD passes, but also was at the top (still?) in interceptions? Do you take someone else with a better TD:INT ratio or the guy with the most of something...sometimes simply because of longevity.
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Offline Greek Tragedy

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2020, 06:26:39 pm »
I mean Bo Ryan has to be the GOAT.  Four titles in 15 years.  A better than 90 percent winning percentage for an entire decade.  The best D team in D3 history.  Most successful D3 coaching alum.   He has to be the first choice.  Hixon, Djurikovich, Robinson, Moore, M. Edwards all good candidate for next three spots.  Hixon is a lock Id say.

Dennie Bridges coached 36 years at Illinois Wesleyan from 1965 to 2001.  He was 667-319 (.676) in a different era when IWU regularly played 4-5 D1/D2 teams per year for many seasons.  In the CCIW, his record was a pretty crazy 421-129 (.765) with 17 CCIW titles (in 36 years).

IWU moved from NAIA to D3 in 1983-84.  Bridges' record in his 18 D3 seasons:
* Overall: 357-146 (.710)
* CCIW Record: 213-57 (.789)
* CCIW Titles: 9
* NCAA Tourney Appearances: 14
* NCAA Tourney Record: 30-13 (.698)
* NCAA Tourney Advancement: 9 Sweet 16; 6 Elite 8; 3 Final Fours
* 1 National Championship

Bosko Djurickoivic is listed above - great coach.  For context, Bridges had 30 NCAA tourney wins in 18 D3 seasons -- Djurickvoic has 19 in 35 D3 seasons.  Bridges won 17 CCIW titles in 36 seasons (9 in 18 D3 seasons); Bosko has 7 CCIW titles in 35 seasons. 

Mark Edwards, another elite D3 coach, won 33 NCAA tourney games in 37 D3 seasons; Bridges won 30 NCAA tourney games in 18 D3 seasons.

If those two are on the list, I would think Bridges has to be?

Not sure in the big picture how this all sorts out, but Dennie is somewhere on the short list.
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Offline Greek Tragedy

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2020, 06:27:22 pm »
I think postseason records are nice, but there is more to a resume than just the post season. I was working on an unexpected project of late and was diving into some women's coaching resumes. I actually ended up removing a few when I dove deeper. As great as the snapshots seemed to indicate, when you saw the regular season numbers it was rather interesting.

I think a coach who shows consistency - especially very few if any losing seasons - with a strong winning percentage plus got it done in the postseason (where they visited consistently as well) would be the ones in consideration.
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Offline Titan Q

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2020, 06:33:36 pm »
From Bo Ryan's old bio on Wisconsin's site...

It was during his 15-year tenure at UW-Platteville (1984-99) that Ryan firmly established himself as one of the country's top coaches. He guided the Division III school to a phenomenal 353-76 (.822) overall record and, in his final 12 seasons, the Pioneers:
Won four national championships (1991, 1995, 1998 and 1999)
Compiled a 314-37 (.895) record
Won eight WIAC titles
Were the winningest NCAA men's basketball team of the 1990s (all divisions) with a 266-26 (.908) record
Compiled a 30-5 NCAA Division III tournament mark
Never won fewer than 23 games
Compiled a 157-7 (.957) home record
Set the all-time single-season Division III scoring defense mark (47.5 ppg) in 1996-97

Offline Titan Q

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2020, 09:44:42 am »
As quoted above by Greek from the NESCAC board, some notes about IWU's Dennie Bridges.


Dennie Bridges coached 36 years at Illinois Wesleyan from 1965 to 2001.  He was 667-319 (.676) in a different era when IWU regularly played 4-5 D1/D2 teams per year for many seasons.  In the CCIW, his record was a pretty crazy 421-129 (.765) with 17 CCIW titles (in 36 years).

IWU moved from NAIA to D3 in 1983-84.  Bridges' record in his 18 D3 seasons:
* Overall: 357-146 (.710)
* CCIW Record: 213-57 (.789)
* CCIW Titles: 9
* NCAA Tourney Appearances: 14
* NCAA Tourney Record: 30-13 (.698)
* NCAA Tourney Advancement: 9 Sweet 16; 6 Elite 8; 3 Final Fours
* 1 National Championship


Whatever the criteria ends up being, Dennie is certainly in the conversation.

Offline nescac1

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2020, 10:05:01 am »
Yeah, Bridges definitely belongs, just wasnt familiar with his resume (among plenty of others Im sure).  I see Ryan and Hixon (in that order) as the two locks.  Seems to be 2-3 CCIW coaches in contention, Ill leave it to CCIW folks to sort them out.  There was also mention in the Nescac board of the Scranton coach Bob Bessoir. 

Offline Titan Q

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2020, 10:08:05 am »
Yeah, Bridges definitely belongs, just wasnt familiar with his resume (among plenty of others Im sure).  I see Ryan and Hixon (in that order) as the two locks.  Seems to be 2-3 CCIW coaches in contention, Ill leave it to CCIW folks to sort them out.  There was also mention in the Nescac board of the Scranton coach Bob Bessoir.
I don't think any other CCIW coach has a resume close to that of Bridges (for this conversation) at this point.  Bosko Djurickovic won 2 national titles and has a wonderful resume, but in this conversation, Dennie Bridges has a much stronger case.

I'd have to look at Dan McCarrell's (North Park) complete resume - he obviously won 3 national titles.  I am not as familiar with the full resume there vs Bridges.

Grey Giovanine at Augustana can get into the conversation in time.  He has been amazing at Augie.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 10:46:03 am by Titan Q »

Offline nescac1

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2020, 10:13:44 am »
The overall coaching resume of the Ephs Dave Paulsen is among the most impressive, certainly, but he just didnt spend enough time in D3 (eight years at Williams, three at St. Lawrence).  In his eight years at Williams, three league titles, an NCAA championship, and a second place finish, plus two national COY awards, and he also had strong success at St. Lawrence (two NCAA appearances and two league COY awards).  But hes spent most of his career at the D1 and D2 level. 

Offline Titan Q

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2020, 10:22:56 am »
Wooster's Steve Moore (just retired) would have to be right in the middle of this convo.  Seems like he has to be in the top 4?

https://www.woosterathletics.com/sports/mbkb/coaches/MOORE_STEVE?view=bio
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 10:25:08 am by Titan Q »

Offline Titan Q

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2020, 11:32:15 am »
This might be a good template to have for each candidate...

Name (School)
* # of Seasons as D3 Head Coach: (these are the only seasons that should count below)

* Overall Record:

* Conference Record:

* Conference Regular Season Titles:

* NCAA D3 Tournament Appearances:

* NCAA D3 Tournament Record:

* NCAA D3 Sweet 16:

* NCAA D3 Final 4:

* NCAA D3 National Title:


Those seem like relevant data points to the conversation.

From there people can decide their own personal weighting and how the candidates stack up.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 11:41:21 am by Titan Q »

Offline Titan Q

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2020, 11:40:48 am »
Dennie Bridges (Illinois Wesleyan)
* # of Seasons as D3 Head Coach: 18 (1983-84 to 2000-01)

* Overall Record: 357-146 (.710)

* Conference Record: 213-57 (.789)

* Conference Regular Season Titles: 9 (.500) '84, '86, '88, '91, '92, '94, '95, '97, '98

* NCAA D3 Tournament Appearances: 14 (.778) '84, '86, '87, '88, '90, '91, '92, '94, '95, '96, '97, '98, '99, '01

* NCAA D3 Tournament Record: 30-13 (.698)

* NCAA D3 Sweet 16: 10 (.556)  '86, '88, '90, '92, '94, '95, '96, '97, '98, '01

* NCAA D3 Final 4: 3 '96, '97, '01

* NCAA D3 National Title: 1 '97

(18 years as NAIA head coach not included above)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 11:52:58 am by Titan Q »

Offline ronk

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2020, 12:58:59 pm »
Bob Bessoir(Scranton)

* # of Seasons as D3 Head Coach: 27(1974-2001)  (these are the only seasons that should count below)

* Overall Record: 535-229(.700)

* Conference Record: 276-88 (.758)

* Conference Regular Season Titles: 14 (.519)  '75,'78,'80-'86,'88,'89,'92,'93

* NCAA D3 Tournament Appearances: 18 (.667)   '75-'78,'80-'88,'91-'93,'98,2000

* NCAA D3 Tournament Record: 31-18 (.633)

* NCAA D3 Sweet 16: 5   '76,'77,'83,'88,'93

* NCAA D3 Final 4: 4   '76,'77,'83,'88

* NCAA D3 National Title: 2   "76,'83

2 years before D3 formation(1972-74) not included above

edited to include non-D3 games in overall record
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 03:22:15 pm by ronk »

Offline Titan Q

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2020, 01:45:14 pm »
Ronk, lets not exclude the non D3 games from the overall record. Its too hard to ask everyone to go back and find those to pull out. Can you add those back in?

Lets just exclude seasons when the coachs team was not D3.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 01:47:22 pm by Titan Q »

Offline Greek Tragedy

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2020, 02:10:48 pm »
Probably not in the convo, but still pretty good.

Bob Semling (Stevens Point)

# of seasons: 15 

Overall Record: 316-100 .759

Conference Record: 167-50 .769

Conference Regular Season Titles: 6 .400

NCAA Appearances: 10 .667

NCAA Record: 22-8  .733 '07 (1-1), 08 (1-1), 09 (1-1), 10 (6-0), 11 (2-1), 12 (0-1) 13 (1-1), 14 (2-1), 15 (6-0), 18 (2-1)

NCAA Sweet 16: 3

NCAA Final 4: 2

NCAA D3 Titles: 2  '10, '15

The WIAC titles are down, but conference foes Whitewater (2) and Oshkosh (1) have also won National Titles.
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Offline sac

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Re: Mount Rushmore of D3 Coaches
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2020, 02:14:43 pm »
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