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Local colleges

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Courtesy IPFW
IPFW coach Tony Jasick was named the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year.

Jasick honored as coach of year

IPFW’s boss credits players, his assistants

– IPFW men’s basketball coach Tony Jasick had a front-row view of history this basketball season, as the Mastodons won a record 25 games and advanced to the Summit League championship game, made a postseason tournament (the tournament) and won a postseason game for the first time.

Friday, he had one more bit of history to contemplate, in the person of Hugh Durham.

Durham was the coach who took Jacksonville University to the Final Four and is the only coach in NCAA history to be the winningest coach at three different schools (Jacksonville, Florida State and Georgia). He’s also the namesake for the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year award – which was won Friday by Jasick.

“Obviously it’s a great honor,” Jasick said of the award, which presents annually to the top Division I mid-major coach in college basketball. “Coach Durham was a phenomenal coach and just to be mentioned in the same breath as him is an honor.

“With that said, the honor truly goes out to the staff and the players. Our guys did a really good job this year worrying about what mattered and not worrying about those things that don’t matter. We had a special group in that regard and it really showed up on the floor.”

The Mastodons’ 25 wins this season pushed Jasick to 52-47 overall in three seasons, fourth on the school’s all-time list. IPFW’s 2,774 points and 285 3-pointers are the fourth- and fifth-highest totals in Summit League history.

The Mastodons beat Akron 97-91 in the first round of the CIT before losing to eventual semifinalist VMI and had the highest RPI (115) in school history. Now it’s on to the recruiting trail beginning the middle of next week, where the Mastodons will focus on replenishing the small-forward and power-forward positions.

“I think we have an obvious hole to fill in Luis Jacobo and Mike Kibiloski, the 4 and 3 spots,” Jasick says. “Those guys were really good for us and played a lot of minutes, so we have to fill that void. And we’re going to have to have some guys step. Replacing (point guard) Pierre Bland is going to be huge, and we’ll probably do that internally.”