Monday's college hoops: Green Bay fires Linc Darner after five seasons
Green Bay, Wis. — Linc Darner is out as the men’s basketball coach at Green Bay after posting winning records in four of his five seasons on the job.
Chancellor Michael Alexander confirmed the move Monday, saying in a statement that the university and coach “have decided to part ways.”
Stadium first reported Darner’s exit.
Darner owned a 92-80 record at Green Bay. The Phoenix went 17-16 this past season and lost to Northern Kentucky in the Horizon League Tournament semifinals.
“We appreciate the leadership of Coach Darner and his focus on coaching and mentoring the outstanding student-athletes that have been part of this program during his tenure as head coach,” Alexander said. “We are a Division I university and remain committed to continuing the legacy of our outstanding Division I athletics program in the future.”
Athletic director Charles Guthrie said in a statement that school officials thank Darner “for his service and strong commitment to our student-athletes here at UW-Green Bay and to the Green Bay community over the past five years. Guthrie added that “we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Guthrie said a national search for Darner’s successor will begin immediately.
In Darner’s debut season at Green Bay in 2015-2016, the Phoenix went 23-13 and earned the school’s first NCAA Tournament bid in 20 years. The Phoenix lost to Texas A&M in the first round — Green Bay’s only NCAA Tournament win came in 1994, under coach Dick Bennett over California.
Darner’s teams followed that up by going 18-14, 13-20, 21-17 and 17-16 over the next four seasons. His squads went 11-7 or better in Horizon League competition four of his five seasons.
The 49-year-old Darner has an overall head coaching record of 384-197 that also includes 13 seasons at Division II programs — four at Saint Joseph’s (Indiana) and nine at Florida Southern. He led Florida Southern to a Division II national championship in 2015.
In a statement issued by the university, Darner thanked former Chancellor Gary Miller and former athletic director Mary Ellen Gillespie for hiring him. He also thanked his staff, recruits and current and former players while noting his program’s high graduation rates and Academic Progress Rate scores.
“I cannot wait to advance my career as a head basketball coach and am looking forward to new opportunities,” Darner said.
Khristian Lander, one of the nation’s top point guards, has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball next season at Indiana.
Coach Archie Miller announced Lander, who had already verbally committed, has decided to reclassify from the 2021 recruiting class so he can play this fall.
Lander scored 1,314 points in three seasons at Evansville Reitz, and the 6-foot-2 Lander will vie for playing with Rob Phinisee. Though Phinisee has started each of his first two seasons with the Hoosiers, he has fought through injuries both seasons.
... Vanderbilt has signed guard Isaac McBride as a transfer from Kansas.
Coach Jerry Stackhouse announced McBride will join the roster for the 2020-21 season.
The 6-foot-1 guard from Little Rock was the 2019 Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year out of Baptist Preparatory School and rated a four-star player by Rivals.com for the 2019 class. McBride signed with Kansas but left school last September. He reportedly committed to Vanderbilt last December.
... The NCAA said a case involving alleged recruiting infractions at North Carolina State will go through an independent investigation process created for complex cases.
The case involves the recruitment of former Wolfpack one-and-done star Dennis Smith Jr. The NCAA has charged N.C. State with four violations, including former head coach Mark Gottfried being charged individually under the provision of head coach responsibility for violations within his program.
The school agreed to have the case referred to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP), which the NCAA developed last year. The process includes independent investigators and decision makers with no direct ties to NCAA member schools, and rulings cannot be appealed.