Esu introduces new men’s basketball coach craig doty – ksnt

In just two seasons at Graceland Doty went 49-22 and led the Yellowjackets to the NAIA Division I National Championship in the school’s first trip to the national tournament. An NAIA modern day record of 6,377 were on hand for the championship game. Graceland advanced to Kansas City after winning the Heart of America Conference Tournament Championship in front of an overflow crowd of 2500 at the Closson Center in Lamoni, Iowa.

Prior to his time at Graceland the 32 year old Doty spent four years as the head coach at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill. His Golden Eagles won two national championships and appeared in three straight NJCAA Division III title games.


After going 19-16 his first year at Rock Valley he rolled off three straight 30 win seasons.

Doty’s teams have excelled both on and off the court. His Yellowjackets took part in elementary school Mentoring, Leadership and Fun days in Lamoni along with Special Olympics basketball camps at Graceland. Jeremy Deemer was named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete in each of the last two years for Graceland. While at Rock Valley the Golden Eagles partnered with Windsor Elementary Anti-Bullying Parade in Loves Park, Ill. and were a part of Transform Rockford – a community initiative to improve the social and economic well being of the community. Men’s basketball had the best team GPA in the Rock Valley Athletic Department his last year at the school.

Before taking over as a head coach, Doty spent time as an assistant with four programs. He began his collegiate coaching career as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater Morningside (Iowa) College while also serving as the head coach at Akron-Westfield HS in Akron, Iowa as he finished his degree. He then went to NJCAA D-I Central Wyoming College for the 2010-11 season, serving as the interim head coach for two months after his head coach moved on to a new job. He then went to Riverland (Minn.) for the 2011-12 season before getting the chance to coach at the University of Sioux Falls from April through October of 2012 before getting the chance to become a head coach at Rock Valley just weeks before the start of the season.

A 2010 graduate of Morningside, the Mustangs went 56-37 record, made the Sweet Sixteen of the NAIA DII National Tournament, were ranked as high as #10 in the country, and won a Great Plains Athletic Conference title during Doty’s tenure as a player and assistant coach. He is a graduate of Alcester-Hudson (S.D.) HS. In his senior season, Doty set the school record for single season scoring with an average of 25.5 points per game. His junior season, Doty led his squad to a 17-4 record and a number four ranking in the state of South Dakota.

Emporia State finished the season 9-19 with 13 of their losses coming by five points or less or in overtime, including their last three games by a total of seven points. They graduated three players last year and the returners are led by two-time All-MIAA performer Brandon Hall.

"I’m really happy to say that the search for a new men’s basketball coach at Emporia State has been completed. There was interest from scores of qualified candidates and I appreciate their interest. I could not have done any of this without our office manager, Jennifer Collins, Associate Athletics Director Don Weast and Deputy Athletics Director Krystie Bayer."

"The opportunity to come and coach in the MIAA, at the Division II level, where I was born and raised in South Dakota watching the University of South Dakota, Augustana, Mankato and SDSU when everybody was Division II back then. Being around this level of basketball I absolutely fell in love with it. I’m a firm believer in Division II athletics and what it can do for the student-athletes. I think it’s the most pure form of basketball at the college level that continues in this country. You guys see what high level play is night in and night out. We look forward to matching that and building this program to national recognition."

"I want to thank a few people. President Allison Garret who I got to meet this morning. What an outstanding person very professional and I’m very excited to be working under her tutelage. Kent Weiser – the search that you guys ran, I felt comfortable the entire time with Kent, with Kristy (Bayer), with Don (Weast). They were consummate professionals who understand college athletics and what it takes to win. They made myself and my family feel comfortable from the first time we talked."

"I want to thank Steve Sauder, who was gracious enough to open his house up. Turns out there’s a couple of thousand people that play disc golf in town right now so all the hotels were booked so we got to stay with Mr. Sauder last night. This is what Emporia is all about – you can feel the family environment. You walk around campus and you see friendly faces, smiling, and you see a culture that you want to be a part of."

"It’s an exciting time to be here and I look forward to providing that shot in the arm for the men’s basketball program to match the excitement of the other programs – the women’s basketball program, the football program, all the great programs that are here at Emporia State."

"I also want to thank Graceland University. We’re coming off a national championship in Municipal Auditorium just over a month ago in front of a record crowd of 6,377 people. It was such a special time there. The administration was very kind in this transition. I’m happy for the things they have been able to afford me and my family."

"That being said I would like my wife and my son, Alexis and Braylen, to stand. When you win national titles and you compete at the national level – and I’ve been fortunate to win one in 2014, 2016 and 2018 – while your point guard is often your key guy on the floor and your big man is manning the boards, it’s the coaches wives that deserve to have a ton of credit as well as the entire family, including my son Braylen. They share me with the program and that will continue to happen."

"I just got to speak with our student-athletes in the men’s basketball program just about 15 minutes ago and what outstanding young men in terms of character, in terms of how they represent themselves and how they know how to look someone in the eye and do all these little things. We are going to be able to grow together. We didn’t talk much basketball in there because at this point that’s not the most important thing. The important thing is to build this up from the ground floor with the right kids and we have them right here in this program. I look forward to getting to know you guys over the coming days and weeks. It’s going to be a real special journey."