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Missing Linc: Darner out as UWGB men's hoops coach

The Brillion News

GREEN BAY - University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander confirmed on Monday, May 18, that the University and men's basketball coach Linc Darner have decided to part ways. 

Darner completed his head coaching career for the Phoenix with a 92-80 overall record in five seasons.

He led the Phoenix to the NCAA Tournament in his first season, 2015-16, snapping a 20-year program drought after his team captured the Horizon League Tournament Championship. Darner led UWGB to a 51-39 record in league play during that time, finishing in the top four of the standing in four of his five seasons.

"I would like to thank former Chancellor Gary Miller and former Athletic Director Mary Ellen Gillespie for giving me the opportunity to coach at Green Bay,” said Darner. “I would like to thank my staff, recruits and all current and former players who helped us make the NCAA Tournament, taking GB the furthest ever in the postseason to the CIT Finals and having the most up-tempo offense in the country."

He said he was especially proud to see his players graduate at an extremely high rate including two perfect Academic Progress Rate scores, which had never happenbed before at UWGB.

He said he plans to advance his career as a head basketball coach at another university in the future.

Chancellor Alexander said he wishes the best for Darner.

"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."

Darner coached eight players who garnered Horizon All-League honors: Carrington Love and Jordan Fouse in 2016; Charles Cooper and Kenneth Lowe in 2017; Khalil Small in 2018; Sandy Cohen III in 2019 and JayQuan McCloud and Amari Davis in 2020. Four of those players earned First Team All-League honors.

Davis was the first freshman in program history to be named Horizon League Freshman of the Year.

Athletics Director Charles Guthrie said a national search for a new head coach would begin immediately.

The press release issued by the university gave no hint as to whether it was UWGB or Darner who initiated the divorce.

Darner came to UWGB from Division-II Florida Southern, where he capped nine season by winning the national championship in 2015. At Green Bay, he replaced Brian Wardle, who left in 2015 for Bradley,

Darner was contracted to be the Phoenix men's head coach through 2026.

Green Bay is a member of the Horizon League. The Phoenix had the fifth best attendance in the league, but average per-game attendance dropped from 2,475 in 2018 to 2,107 in 2019.

The Resch Center, where UWGB plays home men's basketball games, has a capacity of 9,800 for basketball, with UWGB averaging 21 percent of capacity in 2019.

The largest men's basketball crowd at the Resch Center was for a November 2013 game between UW-Green Bay and the Wisconsin Badgers.

The UWGB women play home games at the on-campus Kress Events Center, which has a basketball capacity of 4,018.


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