Local Sports Journal
Tony Jasick has had quite a whirlwind year so far in 2014.
The Whitehall native just came off his best season as a coach in the division 1 college ranks at Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne, when his Mastodons won a school record 25 games.
His team nearly took home the Summit League championship,which would have included a berth in the NCAA basketball tournament.
The new Dolphin leader reached an agreement Tuesday to become the 14th basketball coach in the school’s history.
Jacksonville is the second smallest school to have ever reached the NCAA’s Final Four and national championship game. It happened in 1970, when the Dolphins lost to UCLA and legendary coach John Wooden in the title game.
Jasick leaves behind an IPFW program that he coached for the last three seasons. He has a record of 52-47 and has the fourth most wins in school history.
Jasick also served as an assistant coach at Newberry College, Middle Tennessee State and IPFW before becoming a head college coach.
“This program has a very storied history,” Jasick said of his new employer at a press conference. “One that I don’t take lightly at all. I’m excited about adding some stories to that history.”
A 1996 graduate of Whitehall High School, Jasick takes over a Jacksonville program that reached the NCAA tournament in 1970, 1971, 1973, 1979, and 1986. The school has also made appearances in the NIT in 1972, 1974, 1980, 1987, 2009 and 2010.
“I had the opportunity to meet with our team and kind of share my vision for JU basketball,” said Jasick. “That vision is very basic but I also think it’s encompassing in exactly what we’re trying to do… You’ve got to break it down to these three things and they’re going to be the pillars of our program:
“Great energy, unbelievable toughness and have guys that play the game in an unselfish manner.”
The 2013-2014 season ended for Jacksonville after it lost in the opening round of the Atlantic Sun conference tournament to Mercer. The Dolphins finished 12-18 overall and 8-10 in the conference.