Published: May 09, 2023
Linc Darner Named Tampa Men's Basketball Head Coach
The University of Tampa has announced the hiring of Linc Darner as its head men's basketball coach. Darner brings a resume that includes an NCAA Division II national championship while guiding teams to the NCAA tournament at both the Division I and II levels. As a head coach, he has produced winning teams at every stop. He also played in the NCAA tournament, helping Purdue to the Elite Eight.
Darner becomes the sixth head coach in program history for the Spartans, and just the second since men's basketball was brought back in 1983.
In his most recent head coaching stint, Darner spent five seasons at University of Wisconsin–Green Bay Phoenix. Under Darner's direction, the Phoenix has finished in the top four of the Horizon League standings in four out of his five seasons, including two seasons in third. Darner was announced as head coach in 2015, after spending the previous nine seasons at Florida Southern College where he captured the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2015.
Prior to that, Darner spent four seasons at St. Joseph's College (IN). In his final season at St. Joseph's, Darner led the Pumas to the Great Lakes Valley Conference regular season title, giving him seven conference championships and nine trips to the NCAA Tournament in the last 10 years.
In addition to the success enjoyed by his teams at both St. Joseph's and Florida Southern, Darner has won seven conference coach-of-the-year awards during his 13 seasons as a head coach. He was the 2006 GLVC Coach-of-the-Year before earning the same honor in the Sunshine State Conference in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Darner is the only coach in the history of the Sunshine State Conference to win that award three consecutive years and the only FSC coach to ever earn six SSC Coach of the Year honors.
His dominating 2014-15 season was capped with a National Championship and a 36-1 record. Darner was recognized as the 2015 NABC Division II National Coach of the Year, Regional Coach of the Year and the Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year. He coached Kevin Capers, who was consensus two-time All-American in 2014 and 2015 and was named to multiple First Team Honors on a variety of platforms.
As a collegiate player, Darner was a four-year letterman for historic head coach Gene Keady at Purdue University, where the Boilermakers went 82-42 in his career (1990-94) and earned three NCAA Tournament bids. He was the first player under Keady to be named a team captain twice and was a teammate of future NBA #1 draft pick Glenn Robinson and current Purdue head coach Matt Painter. In 1991, following his freshman year at Purdue, Darner played in the United States Olympic Festival where he helped the North team to a gold medal.
As a senior, he captained Purdue to a 29-5 record, the Big Ten Championship, and a berth in the NCAA Division I regional finals. A 6-4 guard with the Boilermakers, Darner played in 124 games in his career, a figure that ranked fifth in school history at the time of his graduation. In 1991, he set a school freshman record for 3-point field goals made with 32, and he ranks among the career leaders at Purdue in 3-pointers, as well as 3-point field goal percentage.
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