FOND DU LAC - Marian University athletics has announced that Fond du Lac native Drake Diener has been named the next head coach for the Sabre men's basketball program.
"It is an honor to introduce Drake Diener as the next men's basketball coach at Marian University," commented director of athletics Jason Bartelt. "I look forward to him continuing to build on the strong foundation of Marian University men's basketball. Drake's basketball knowledge and experience will definitely help develop each student-athlete who joins our men's basketball program."
Diener joins the Sabre men's basketball coaching staff after playing the past 12 years of professional basketball overseas in Italy. During his professional playing career, Diener played for nine different teams earning Italian League Championships in 2008 and 2014. The 2013-14 season also saw him earn Italian League Most Valuable Player honors. Diener also led his team to a Euroleague Final Four appearance in 2008 and is the all-time leading scorer in Italian Serie A. This past season he was named a team captain for Vanoli Cremona.
Diener obtained his bachelor's degree in education from DePaul University where he was also a prominent member of the Blue Demons' men's basketball program. As a Blue Demon, he became the all-time leading three-point scorer and recorded the highest career free throw percentage. In his junior season, Diener averaged 12.6 points per game, third on the squad, leading DePaul to a conference championship and berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Demons earned the No. 7 seed in the West region in the tournament and defeated No. 10 Dayton in the opening round 76-69 behind a game-high 28 points from Diener. DePaul would be knocked out by the eventual NCAA Tournament champion, the University of Connecticut, in the second round. Diener then went on to earn third team all-conference honors as a senior after playing in all 31 games and ranking second on the team with 14.2 points per game with 2.8 assists per game, all while serving as a team captain.
"We are all excited to start this new era of Marian University men's basketball," commented Marian University president Andrew Manion. "Mark Boyle is a tough act to follow with his thirty-year career at the helm. The fact that we received more than 160 applications for this position is a statement about the reputation of the program he has built. It also says a lot about Drake Diener that he emerged as the top candidate from that very strong applicant pool. I am happy to welcome Coach Diener back to Fond du Lac and look forward to his leadership of the men's basketball program at Marian University."
Off of the court, Diener was named an Academic All-American three times, the Conference USA Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice, and the National Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2015. Following his playing career with DePaul, he spent one season as a graduate assistant for the program where he analyzed video of potential recruits and assisted in the organization of daily activities for the men's basketball program.
Diener has also spent time as a scout and recruiter for College Life Italia where he evaluated and guided potential Italian student-athletes to American universities. This has allowed Diener to not only make several contacts throughout the United States and Italy but foster relationships to schools and young Italian student-athletes.
He joins his father and brother in the coaching ranks who have both shown the ability to build championship-caliber programs. His father, Dick, was a long-time head coach for Fond du Lac High School, while his brother, Drew, won a national championship with Cardinal Stritch University and is the current head coach at Rockhurst University.
"I am really excited to begin my coaching career at Marian," commented Diener. "As a Fond du Lac resident I'm well aware of the program and the great players that have played throughout the years. To have the opportunity to finish my career and replace coach Boyle after 30 years is just incredible. I'm very excited to get back to Fond du Lac and start the job."
Diener takes over for Mark Boyle who had served as the head coach for the Sabre men's basketball program since 1988.
FOND DU LAC, Wis. - After 30 seasons at the helm of the Marian University men's basketball program, head coach Mark Boyle has announced he will retire ending the longest current basketball coaching tenure in the state of Wisconsin.
"I can't thank coach Boyle enough for his service and dedication to Marian University and the athletic department the last 30 years," commented director of athletics Jason Bartelt. "I am extremely proud of all the accomplishments of our basketball student-athletes during Coach Boyle's career. He is the most genuine coach I have had the privilege of working with and wish him and his wife Cathy all the best on the next chapter of their life."
Boyle began his tenure at Marian in 1988 and leaves Marian as the winningest coach in Sabre basketball history with 390 wins including a 154-92 (.626) record in Lake Michigan Conference Play. During the LMC era, Boyle led Marian to the LMC Conference Tournament each season under his tenure including four regular season championships; 1989-90, 1990-91, 1998-99 and 1999-2000. The Sabres also won the conference tournament four times with a three-peat coming from 1989-1991 along with a title in 2001, which earned the Sabres their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history. Marian defeated Concordia Wisconsin in overtime at home to open the 2001 LMC Tournament before pulling off upsets of top-seeded Edgewood on the road and second-seeded Lakeland to earn the tournament championship. The Sabres were defeated in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament by Carthage.
He is also the only coach that Marian has had since the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference began in 2006 leading Marian to a 107-109 (.495) in NACC play. The best season of his career came in the NACC era when the 2013-14 Sabres posted a 22-7 overall record, second best record in program history, to go with a 17-3 NACC record earning the Sabres a regular season championship. Marian then rolled through the conference tournament defeating Wisconsin Lutheran and Aurora by 20 points at home before knocking off Edgewood at home to earn the program's second berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Sabres gave top-seeded UW-Stevens Point everything they had in the NCAA Tournament falling to the Pointers by a narrow 66-64 final after leading by five points at halftime.
"Looking back at my years here at Marian I can't help but think how lucky I've been," commented Boyle. "First of all doing what you have had a love for and being able to call it 'work' for all these years is almost unreal. I've had such good fortune to work with some real quality people here in the school and athletic department. From our athletic administration to the coaches and staff they have been great. Having the trust of my administration in what my assistant coaches and I were trying to do through the years really gives me a great sense of appreciation and pride. As to the quality of assistants that I've had over the years considering their loyalty, longevity and dedication through all the ups and downs I will forever be grateful. I would also be at error if I were not to mention the constant support of my family through all these years, they were always there in support of the team and myself."
Of the 19 scorers in Marian men's basketball program history that reached the 1,000 career-point plateau, Boyle had a hand in coaching 17 of them including Grant Monroe who served on Boyle's coaching staff for the past 18 seasons. Monroe was an All-LMC selection three times in his career and was a major part of the Sabre squad that earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
"As a player in my early years, I didn't appreciate the things coach Boyle was trying to teach me but by my senior year, it really hit home," commented Monroe. "He taught me the things needed to be successful on the court but more importantly off the basketball court. Off the court success for us was just as important to him as on the court success was. It's why I chose to coach with him the last 18 years because he truly cares about his players off the court and would do anything to help them succeed. He's one of the greatest and kindest men you will ever meet and I'm happy to call him my friend. He will be missed."
In total, Boyle coached 64 student-athletes to all-conference honors, eight to all-district recognition, five conference players of the year and one freshman of the year. He also went on to earn coach of the year honors in 1990, 1991, 2001, 2008 and 2014.
"And then there are all the players for whom I will always feel connected," commented Boyle on the players he coached. "They came to Marian and put their trust and faith in this program and school. My greatest hope in leaving something behind is that they can look back, being happy with their decision to come to Marian and have real pride in being part of a team. Our team!"
The Madison, Wisconsin native closes his career with a wide variety of coaching experience that included stops at Eau Claire Regis High School, Lawrence University, and UW-Green Bay. At UW-Green Bay, under then-head coach Dick Bennett, his responsibilities included recruiting, academic monitoring, and scouting.
WAUKESHA, Wis. - Senior Alex Manhardt closed out his career with Marian University men's basketball on a high note being named first team All-Conference.
Manhardt (West Bend, Wis.) was a leader for the Sabres all season long in scoring and on the glass. The lone senior on the Sabre roster led the NACC in double-doubles with 11 and rebounds per game with 10.0, while also scoring 14.6 points per game. He was also one of the most efficient shooters in the conference ranking second in the conference with a 52.1-percent field goal percentage.
Manhardt put his name in the record book in several places with the most notable being only the eighth Sabre in men's basketball history to reach 500 rebounds and 1,000 points in his career. In his career, he finished 17th 1,036 points, 17th in program history, 276 made free throws, fifth all-time, 580 rebounds, seventh all-time, and 89 blocks, tied for sixth in Marian history. His final season in a Sabre jersey saw him grab the fifth most rebounds in a single season with 230 and post the fifth highest rebounds per game average.
He also became the first Sabre to be named the NACC Player of the Week since 2014 after registering his fourth double-double of the season in a win against Concordia Chicago. The West Bend, Wis. native shot 7-10 (.700) from the field in the win with a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds. Manhardt also added two assists and a block in the victory that gave the Sabres an even conference ledger.
This is his second All-Conference accolade he has earned after being named All-NACC second team last season.
The full all-conference lists from the NACC can be viewed at http://naccsports.org/sports/mbkb/2017-18/releases/20180221pi4lkg.
AURORA, Ill. - Marian University men's basketball (11-14, 10-10 NACC) fell to Aurora 96-75 and with an Edgewood win over Benedictine was eliminated from a berth in the NACC Tournament.
The Sabres trailed early and could never recover as the Spartans were able to pull away from the Sabres. The two teams started to an 11-11 draw before the Spartans were able to use a 25-6 run to take a 36-17 advantage with seven minutes left in the first half. The Sabres were unable to chip away at the lead with a consistent offense from Aurora with the Spartans building their lead to as large as 26 points in the second half.
The Sabres finished the game 28-67 (.418) from the field including 8-21 (.381) from beyond the arc but the Spartans were able to dominate down low. Aurora outrebounded the Sabres 44-36 and outscored the Sabres in the paint by a 40-24 margin.
Junior Evan Hansen paced the Sabre offense with 19 points, while fellow junior Tyrese Pinsonnetted 15 points with three assists and two steals. Freshman Logan Hamilton was able to come off the bench and score 10 points.
Senior Alex Manhardt played his final collegiate game closing out his career with 1,036 points, 580 rebounds and 89 blocks. Manhardt is only the eighth Sabre in men's basketball history to eclipse 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career.
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - Marian University men's basketball (11-13, 10-9 NACC) was defeated by Lakeland in the finale of the series by a final score of 85-78.
The game opened as a see-saw battle with Marian holding a 13-12 lead before Lakeland went on a 13-0 run to take a 25-13 lead with 8:41 left in the first half. Junior Kelvin Jones was able to convert a three-point play in the final seconds half the half to send the Sabres into the break trailing 42-34.
The Sabres were able to chip away at their deficit cutting the Lakeland lead down to as little as four on several occasions but the Muskies held off Marian. An 18-7 run from the Muskies late in the second half gave Lakeland a game-high 15-point lead at 79-64 with only 3:56 left in action.
From there, the Sabres were able to close out the game strong with a 14-6 run but the rally came up short as Marian was swept by Lakeland in the season series.
Marian had a strong game shooting going 30-74 (.405) including 7-15 (.467) from beyond the arc, but the Muskie offense was too much for the Sabres going 34-68 (.500) from the field and 11-27 (.407) from three-point land.
The Sabre did manage to outrebound the Muskies by a 43-41 margin and outscored Lakeland in second chance points 20-8. Marian also converted 10 Lakeland turnovers into 14 points.
Jones had a big game for the Sabres with a career-high 25 points off of 10-18 (.556) shooting, while senior Alex Manhardt chipped in 12 points with nine rebounds.
Marian concludes the regular season at Aurora Saturday, Feb. 17 with a 2 p.m. tip-off. The Sabres need a win or losses from Rockford and Edgewood to earn a berth in the NACC Tournament.
FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Marian University men's basketball (11-12, 10-8 NACC) couldn't overcome an 11-point deficit at halftime falling to Edgewood by a 76-67 final.
The pair of teams opened the game at a 7-7 draw before Edgewood went on an 18-0 run to take a commanding 25-7 advantage with 5:51 left in the first half. The Sabres managed to cut into the deficit using a 9-2 run to close out the half and put the Sabres behind 35-24 at the break.
Edgewood managed to shoot the lights out in the opening half going 13-24 (.542) from the field including 4-5 (.800) shooting from beyond the arc.
The Sabres rallied right out of the gates to open the second half scoring the first eight points to cut the lead down to 35-32 and 17:38 left to play. Marian cut the lead down to three on several occasions before a three-pointer from Logan Hamilton with 11:07 left to play tied the game at 47-47. Edgewood then scored the next seven points as they quickly retook the lead for good. The Eagles managed to build their lead to as large as 12 as they cruised to the win in the final minutes.
Marian outrebounded the Eagles 37-31 but Edgewood was able to outscore the Sabres 22-11 in the points off turnovers category.
Senior Alex Manhardt had his 11th double-double of the season scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 boards to go with three blocks. The Sabres also had some strong performances from a pair of freshmen with Tristan Van Ess scoring a team-high 17 points and Logan Hamilton coming off the bench with 13 points.
Marian hits the road playing at Lakeland Wednesday, Feb. 14 with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
MILWAUKEE - Marian University men's basketball (11-11, 10-7 NACC) trailed by 11 points at halftime but rallied to defeat Wisconsin Lutheran 67-61.
Senior Alex Manhardt was a key part of the comeback scoring 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half as he became the eighth Sabre in program history to reach 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career. Manhardt shot 5-9 (.555) in the second stanza and went 10-12 (.833) from the charity stripe in the second half.
Each team shot well in the first half with the Sabres going 12-27 (.444) from the field and the Warriors shooting 14-31 (.452). After a jumper from junior Kelvin Jones put the Sabres ahead 12-11, Wisconsin Lutheran would go on a 14-1 run to take a 26-12 lead with 8:06 to play in the first half. The Warriors were able to outscore Marian 14-5 in points off turnovers in the half and 11-0 in second chance points.
In the second half, however, the Marian defense was able to hold the Warrior offense to 6-28 (.214) shooting including 0-16 (.000) from beyond the arc. The Warriors were able to hold onto their lead at 45-35 with 13:42 remaining before the Sabres scored the next 11 points to take their first lead since the 12:07 mark of the opening half.
From there, the game was a see-saw battle with WLC taking a small 60-59 lead with only 3:06 left to play following a made free throw. This would prove to be the final lead for the Warriors, however, as the Sabres then closed out the game with an 8-2 run with Manhardt scoring seven of those points.
Marian finished the game shooting 25-57 (.439) from the field and dominated in the paint where they outscored the Warriors 36-22.
Manhardt also grabbed 11 rebounds, five on the offensive end, in the win for his 10th double-double of the season. Juniors Evan Hansen and Tyrese Pinson each chipped in double-figure points with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Pinson and Jones were each able to grab four steals on the defensive end to lead Marian.
Marian closes out the home portion of their schedule hosting Edgewood for a 2 p.m. tip-off Saturday, February 10.
RIVER FOREST, Ill. - Marian University men's basketball (10-11, 9-7 NACC) outscored Dominican 42-29 in the second half en route to a 69-56 conference win.
The Sabres had four of their five scorers hit double-figures and had one of their best games at the charity stripe going 22-27 (.815). Senior Alex Manhardt had a game-high 17 points as he continues to close in on 1,000 career points, while junior Evan Hansen scored 16 points, freshman Tristan Van Ess 13 points and junior Tyrese Pinson 12 points. Manhardt also grabbed 14 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair with the largest lead being a seven-point Star advantage midway through the half. It wasn't until the 15:16 mark of the second half when Van Ess made a jump shot that jump-started an 11-4 run that allowed Marian to build a 45-36 advantage with 13:03 left to play. Junior Will Olewinski would score the final five points of the run with a layup and three-pointer, respectively.
The Stars waded the momentum, however, and only found themselves down 58-52 with 4:23 left to play before the Sabres used an 11-4 run to close out the game and deny any thought of a rally.
The Sabre defense once again had a strong outing forcing 18 turnovers, which translated into 21 points off turnovers.
Marian also outrebounded the Stars 38-36 and outscored Dominican 12-0 in second chance points. This was all part of a dominant performance down low for Marian that saw the Sabres outscore the Stars 32-12 in the paint.
Marian closes out a three-game road trip at Wisconsin Lutheran Tuesday, Feb. 6 with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
MEQUON, Wis. - Despite a cold night shooting, Marian University men's basketball (9-11, 8-7 NACC) was able to remain in the hunt for a NACC Tournament bid with a 60-57 win over Concordia Wisconsin securing the season sweep.
No team managed a lead larger than six in the game with a total of nine ties and 12 lead changes in a tight game from start to finish. Marian would only shoot 21-65 (.323) in the win but doubled up the Falcons on made three-pointers 8-4. The Sabre defense also played a big role in the victory forcing 30 turnovers, which led to Marian outscoring the Falcons 26-7 in points off turnovers.
The Falcons opened with a 17-12 lead before a three-pointer from junior Will Olewinski capped off an 11-2 run that saw Marian take a 23-19 lead with 6:28 left in the first half. Marian retained the lead for the remainder of the half and headed to the locker room with a 28-27 advantage.
The second half opened with CUW retaking the lead with a 7-2 run but the Sabres quickly bounced back scoring the next six points to take a 36-34 advantage with 14:47 left to play. Another 7-0 run shortly after gave Marian a 46-40 advantage with 8:56 left to play, the largest lead for either side in the game.
Concordia Wisconsin wouldn't go away, however, as they managed to take the lead at 55-54 with 2:30 left to play after an 11-6 spurt. Marian responded with junior Tyrese Pinson scoring the next four points from the charity stripe as the Sabres took the lead for good. Pinson knocked down another pair of free throws with one second remaining to ice the game and close out the game with the final six points of the game for Marian.
Olewinski came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points, shooting 4-8 (.500) from beyond the arc, while freshman Tristan Van Ess and junior Evan Hansen each chipped in 10 points.
Marian remains on the road traveling to Dominican Saturday, Feb. 3 for a 2 p.m. tip.
FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Marian University men's basketball (8-11, 7-7 NACC) led by as much as 15 but Aurora managed to come back and defeat the Sabres 72-68.
The Sabre defense opened the game strong holding the Spartans to 9-31 (.290) shooting from the field, while Marian shot 16-34 (.471) from the field. The two squads went back-and-forth with the Sabres holding a 28-27 lead with 5:55 left in the first half. MU then finished the half with a 13-4 run to take a 41-31 lead into the locker room.
Marian built their lead out to 50-35 with 15:13 left in the game following a jumper from senior Alex Manhardt before the Spartans began their rally. Following the Manhardt jumper, the Spartans went on a 21-4 retaking the lead at 56-54 and 7:19 remaining.
From there, the game was similar to the start of the game with neither team building a lead larger than three before the final minute. The Sabres managed to tie the game twice in that span but wouldn't manage to retake the lead the remainder of the game.
Manhardt led the Sabres going a perfect 6-6 from the field for a team-high 17 points to go with 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the year and three blocks. Freshman Logan Hamiltonadded 13 points off the bench, while junior Tyrese Pinson chipped in 12 points
Marian opens a three-game road trip Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Concordia Wis. for a 7 p.m. tip.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)