Thursday, November 27, 2008

Durbin Nearing 500 Wins

#5 posting 11.27.2008
your daily dose of girls basketball news & information

CSB basketball coach Mike Durbin approaching 500 career wins
According to College of Saint Benedict basketball coach Mike Durbin, the secret to being a better coach rests with his daughter, Morgan.
“Even with nearly 25 years of coaching, I feel like I still learn things about myself,” said Durbin, who is in his 24th season overall as a college coach with a career record of 496-135 (.787 winning percentage) through games of Nov. 24.
“I know I trust my players more to make decisions on the floor than I did as a rookie coach, but I also believe I have become a better coach since the birth of Morgan 12 years ago,” Durbin said. “I consciously think about one of my players being the daughter of someone else, and how I would want my daughter to be coached and communicated with in this situation.”
Morgan has already watched her dad become the winningest women’s basketball coach in Minnesota collegiate history. Now, she will likely see her dad hit two milestones this year – the 500 coaching victories overall, and 500 wins as coach of the Blazers. In 22 seasons with CSB, he has compiled a 492-113 overall record (an eye-popping .813 winning percentage).
When the milestones happen, what will Durbin be thinking of?
“I’m sure at the moment it will be only another game because each win is so important to our team’s overall goals, but there have been and will continue to be moments of reflection about the women I have coached and the many others who have influenced my career along the way,” Durbin said. “I always tell our players that ‘sport’ is about the memories you have with your teammates and the people you meet along the way … that’s what 500 (wins) will be about for me.”
A native of Howard, Ohio, Durbin played football and basketball at East Knox High School in Howard. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in communications from Kent State University, he was an assistant basketball coach at East Knox High School and Mount Vernon Nazarene College from 1981-83.
He became a head coach for the first time in the fall of 1985, being named interim coach at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. But the rookie coach got off to a rocky start at Wittenberg, posting a 4-22 record.
“I would have been thrilled to win 100 games in my career after winning only four games at Wittenberg,” Durbin said, smiling. “But without that first opportunity, I would not be the coach I am today. Wittenberg was a wonderful place to work and to begin a career.”
His opportunity passed at Wittenberg (the school was looking to hire a coach with a doctoral degree to teach in its physical education department), but the College of Saint Benedict was more than willing to give Durbin a second chance. Basketball started as a varsity sport in 1973 at CSB, but the Blazers had gone through several coaching changes and played in a small gym at Murray Hall.
But in January 1985, Claire Lynch Hall opened, and Durbin came on board in the fall of 1986. The Blazers went 17-9 in his first season in St. Joseph. Since then, Durbin has coached the Blazers to 20-win seasons 20 times (in 22 seasons) – all with assistant coach Denny Johnson at his side on the bench.
Durbin was twice named NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year, following the 1992-93 and 1997-98 seasons. His 1992-93 and 1998-99 teams each reached the Division III Final Four, with the later team finishing second in the nation. And, nearly 300 players have worn the red and white in Durbin’s tenure at CSB.
“It (nearing 500 wins) certainly is a group achievement, because there is no way I could have achieved this individually,” Durbin said. “Denny Johnson has been my assistant for 23 years, and that is extremely uncommon in Division III basketball.
“I’m proud of the consistent success that we have achieved here, and I certainly believe that our past and present success attracts other student-athletes that want to be successful in their collegiate and athletic lives in the future,” Durbin said. “CSB attracts women who want to be successful in all walks of their life.”
And that success story includes a pretty good coach approaching 500 victories.

College, high school coaching experience:
1986-current: Head basketball coach, College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn.
1985-86: Interim head basketball coach, Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio
1981-83: Assistant basketball coach, Mount Vernon Nazarene College, Mount Vernon, Ohio
1981-83: Assistant varsity girls basketball coach at East Knox High School, Howard, Ohio

Athletic career:
Played football and basketball at East Knox High School, Howard, Ohio

College education:
1986: Master's degree in sports administration from Ashland College, Ohio
1981: Bachelor's degree in communications from Kent State University, Ohio

Coaching honors, awards:
Two-time winner, NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year, 1992-93 and 1997-98
Four-time MIAC Coach of the Year, 1989-90, 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1997-98
West Region Coach of the Year, 1993-94 and 1994-95
2002-03: Inducted into Minnesota High School Girls Basketball Hall of Fame

Married to Teri Durbin, who is a senior associate director of admissions at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. They have a daughter, Morgan.

Mike Durbin's year-by-year coaching records:
Year School Overall record
1985-86 Wittenberg (Ohio) 4-22
1986-87 College of Saint Benedict 17-9
1987-88 College of Saint Benedict 20-6
1988-89 College of Saint Benedict 23-5
1989-90 College of Saint Benedict 21-7
1990-91 College of Saint Benedict 20-7
1991-92 College of Saint Benedict 22-6
1992-93 College of Saint Benedict 28-2
1993-94 College of Saint Benedict 22-5
1994-95 College of Saint Benedict 27-2
1995-96 College of Saint Benedict 19-7
1996-97 College of Saint Benedict 21-6
1997-98 College of Saint Benedict 25-2
1998-99 College of Saint Benedict 28-2
1999-00 College of Saint Benedict 20-5
2000-01 College of Saint Benedict 21-5
2001-02 College of Saint Benedict 24-5
2002-03 College of Saint Benedict 24-3
2003-04 College of Saint Benedict 21-5
2004-05 College of Saint Benedict 24-5
2005-06 College of Saint Benedict 21-6
2006-07 College of Saint Benedict 22-6
2007-08 College of Saint Benedict 20-6
2008-09 College of Saint Benedict 2-1 (through games of Nov. 24)
Totals (24 seasons) 496-135

Durbin's milestones
1st Victory - Dec. 14, 1985, vs. Denison University
50th Victory - Jan. 7, 1989, vs. University of St. Thomas
100th Victory - Jan. 26, 1991, vs. St. Mary's University
150th Victory - Feb. 17, 1993, vs. St. Olaf College
200th Victory - Feb. 18, 1995, vs. Gustavus Adolphus College
250th Victory - Dec. 13, 1997, vs. St. Olaf College
300th Victory - Dec. 11, 1999, vs. Concordia-Moorhead
338th Victory - Dec. 1, 2001, vs. Macalester (Became winningest coach in MIAC history)
350th Victory - Jan. 16, 2002, vs. St. Mary's University
400th Victory - Jan. 21, 2004, vs. University of St. Thomas
450th Victory - Feb. 11, 2006, vs. Hamline
475th Victory - Nov. 27, 2007, vs. Fontbonne

Upcoming CSB basketball schedule:
Date Opponent Location
Dec. 3 Bethel University St. Joseph, Minn.
Dec. 6 Carleton College St. Joseph, Minn.
Dec. 8 at College of St. Catherine St. Paul, Minn.
Dec. 10 Macalester College St. Joseph, Minn.
Jan. 3 at St. Mary’s University Winona, Minn.
Jan. 5 at St. Olaf College Northfield, Minn.

New Haven beat St. Anselm on Tuesday 59-48. Megan Howard (St. Paul Central) had a double double with 15 points and 15 rebounds.

The Northern Sun Hoop Fest will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Sioux Falls. Here is the schedule from the Aberdeen American News.

Williston State's Kristin Bearstail (Shiloh Christian) was named player of the week in the Mon-Dak Conference. From the Bismarck Tribune.

next up: tomorrow