Head coach Darner enhances legacy

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Tony D’Angelo

Contributing Writer

 

Florida Southern Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Linc Darner, was named NABC South Region Coach of the year, following a very fruitful season.

FSC had another promising year, which finally ended in the first round of the regional tournament.

They posted a 26-5 overall record, and were 12-4 in the SSC.

Additionally, they won their third consecutive Sunshine State Conference Tournament, qualified for their seventh straight NCAA tournament appearance, and achieved their seventh straight 20-win season.

This was Darner’s second Region Coach of the Year honor, with his first coaching at St. Joseph’s College (SJC) in 2006.

“I think he deserved it. He brought a lot of pieces in and was able to make all of us gel and click,” Bubby Johnson said.

A big challenge this year was to replace impact players from the 2012-2013 team, including 3-point marksman, Seth Evans and Brett Bailey, who had a strong interior presence.

Johnson was one of several new players Darner initially brought in. He transferred from Utah State University Eastern in the fall, and was a mainstay in the Mocs rotation.

As Johnson stated, not only recruiting, but also making a new team “gel” was crucial for overall success.

“Darner’s biggest strength is his ability to get the best out of our players. His basketball IQ is second to none, as well as his attention to detail,” Mike Dubuque, a student manager on Darner’s staff, said.

Coaching was another area that needed rebuilding with Darner’s long-time assistant, Tom Church, accepting the head-coaching job at SJC in the offseason.

Church was originally Darner’s assistant at SJC for three years, before assisting him at FSC for an additional three. Richard Davis was Church’s replacement, another former assistant to Darner at SJC. When Darner came to FSC, Davis accepted SJC’s head job and coached there for seven years.

Ben Swank was another addition to the assistant-coaching staff, as he previously spent time coaching at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.

“Every day I get to learn from one of the best college basketball coaches in division II, and one of the best coaching staffs in general,” Dubuque said.

With all of these new pieces, the team was able to keep one constant, which was Darner at the helm.

He has earned plenty of credibility through extensive experience as an 11-year head coach, and as a former player at Purdue University.

Furthermore, this year’s impressive results can also be attributed to intricate coaching philosophies for his team, on and off the court.

“One thing coach has said that I love is ‘Don’t think, just do.’ Sometimes I think too much and just need to go out and play,” Johnson said.

With less foreseeable moving parts for the ensuing season, look for the Mocs to pick up where they left off.

 

Photo courtesy of Sports Information