COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee today named Steve Eck of Hutchinson (KS) the 2017 Spalding® NJCAA DI Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year after leading the Blue Dragons to their first national title since 1994.
The longtime NJCAA head coach led the Blue Dragons to a 35-2 overall record this year and its third national championship in program history.
Eck joined Hutchinson in 2009 and has led the Blue Dragons to a 231-46 record during his tenure. During his eight years in Hutchinson the Blue Dragons have won at least 25 games in each season and have reached the national tournament four out of the last five campaigns. In 2016 the Blue Dragons finished as the national runner-up after falling in the title game to Salt Lake (UT).
In 19 seasons as an NJCAA head coach, the Kansas Newman College graduate boasts an overall record of 553-96. Prior to taking over the reins at Hutchinson, Eck had previous stops at Cowley (KS), Butler (KS) and Redlands (OK) – where he led the Cougars to a NJCAA Division II championship in 2002.
Photos courtesy of The Hutchinson News
Since the 2013-14 season, Spalding has sponsored the NJCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Coach and Player of the Year awards. Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA), Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) as well as the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, the official baseball of the NJCAA and Little League World Series® and the official volleyball of the King of the Beach® Volleyball Tour. In addition to being the leading producer and marketer of basketballs, baseballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley® brand. The SPALDING® and DUDLEY® trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.