Rachel Rodgers

Staff Writer

Linc Darner, head coach of men’s basketball, won the January Coach of the Month honor from the Division II Bulletin.

He won this award after leading the No. 2 ranked Mocs to a 6-0 victory during the past month.

He has been a coach for 20 years, and a player for as long as he can remember.

He has served 11 of those years as head coach for the men’s basketball team at Florida Southern.

According to fscmocs.com, Darner has already led the Moccasins to four Sunshine State Conference regular season titles, four SSC Tournament titles and six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Now he is halfway through his eighth season with a two game lead, and seven games to win the league.

At 19-2 with an 8-2 record, the Mocs chances of winning Conference are looking good. As long as the team continues to improve there is nothing stopping them.

The win over Tampa also upgraded the Mocs to 18-0 on the season and 7-0 in the SSC. In addition, the win over the University of Tampa also extended its home court win streak to 15 consecutive games and their SSC win streak to nine straight games dating to last season.

The 18-0 start this season is tied for the best start in school history, which was first achieved in 1999 when FSC won its first 18 games to open the season.

“It’s a great honor, and it means the guys are having a good year. They’ve done what we’ve asked, [and] that makes it a team award. The assistant coaches have also done really well this season,” Darner said.

Overall in the 11 years as a college head coach, Darner has assembled a career record of 230-111, for a career winning percentage of about .674 entering the 2013-14 season.

That includes four years at St. Joseph’s College, Ind. where he coached from 2002-06.

In his final season at St. Joseph’s, Darner led the Pumas to the Great Lakes Valley Conference regular season title, giving him five conference championships and seven trips to the NCAA Tournament in the last eight years.

In addition to the success savored by his teams at both St. Joseph’s and Florida Southern, Darner has won five conference coach-of-the-year awards during his 11 seasons as a head coach.

He was the 2006 GLVC Coach-of-the-Year before earning the same award in the Sunshine State Conference in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013.

Darner is the only coach in the history of the Sunshine State Conference to win that honor three consecutive years and one of only two FSC coaches to ever earn four SSC Coach of the Year honors.

According to fscmocs.com, during the most recently completed 2012-13 season, Darner led the Mocs to their fourth, and second consecutive, SSC Tournament title after finishing tied with Saint Leo for first in the regular season league standings with a 12-4 record.

With winning both the regular season and SSC Tournament titles, the Mocs also won the South Regional Championship on its home court with a 90-88 win over two-time defending South Regional champion Alabama-Huntsville to earn the program’s ninth-ever berth in the Division II Elite Eight.

Through the Mocs success there have been some downfalls. FSC went into the Lynn game fresh off a 94-76 loss against Barry. In that loss, the Mocs trailed by as much as 20 points in the first half. The Buccaneers ended the game on a 23-11 win to seal the victory.

For Coach Darner every year is different, and so is every team.

“Understanding each players personality helps me to build them into champs,” Darner said.

Darner loves FSC’s commitment to tradition.

“I love the tradition of winning at FSC, and how it’s expected from every athlete,” Darner said.

His level of coaching goes beyond the court to help the young men with everyday life.

“I’ve been doing this so long I don’t think I could do anything else, and working with these young men is great,” Darner said.


Photo courtesy of FSC Sports Information