Doty earns second DIII Coach of the Year award in 3 years

Craig Doty of Rock Valley (Ill.) was announced Monday as the 2015-16 Spalding® NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year by the NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball Committee. This marks the second time in Doty’s young career that he has received this honor.

Entering 2015-16 as the preseason No. 1, Doty’s team went wire-to-wire as the top-ranked team in the country. Under his guidance, the Golden Eagles finished the year with a 33-3 overall record to set a new school single-season mark for most wins. Rock Valley’s only losses on the year came in a 70-66 defeat at Joliet (Ill.) and two losses to Triton (Ill.) – the nation’s top-ranked DII team for the final four weeks of the season. The run was capped off in March with an 88-75 win over Rochester (Minn.) in the NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball Championship Game.

It has only been four years since Rock Valley hired Doty to serve as head coach for its men’s basketball team and in that short span, the Golden Eagles have already won two NJCAA DIII men’s basketball championships. Having won the program’s first national title in 2013-14, Doty put the Rock Valley program on the map in just his second full season as a head coach. He now boasts a career record of 113-28, including a 94-12 mark over the past three seasons in which the Golden Eagles have made three consecutive appearances in the NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball Championship Game. Following a heartbreaking 67-64 loss to Richland (Texas) in the 2014-15 title game, Doty’s squad came back this season on a mission of redemption – a mission they completed with the victory over Rochester in March’s championship final.

Prior to taking the helm at Rock Valley, Doty was an assistant at the NCAA DII level with Sioux Falls in South Dakota. His previous posts in the NJCAA included a stint as assistant coach at DIII Riverland (Minn.) in 2011-12 and a year as an assistant – including two months as interim head coach – at DI Central Wyoming in 2010-11. The Alcester, South Dakota, native also served as an assistant at his NAIA alma mater, Morningside College in Iowa.

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Photos courtesy of Rock Valley College and Sullivan County Community College.

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