After taking Northern Arizona to incredible heights in his first head coaching stint, Ben Howland was inducted into the Lumberjack’s Hall of Fame this past weekend.
Howland coached there from 1994-99, where he orchestrated one of the best turnarounds in NCAA history as he transformed the NAU men’s basketball program into a consistent tournament competitor.
“Kim, Meredith, Adam and I really enjoyed our time in Flagstaff and had a great experience at Northern Arizona,” said Howland who was 79-59 at NAU. “We were able to do some special things there that had never been done before. It was a great experience in my coaching career that helped me get where I am today.”
Howland’s team won the Big Sky Championship in 1997 and earned a trip to the National Invitational Tournament. The following year, NAU won the Big Sky Tournament crown to earn the school’s first NCAA berth.
The 1996-97 Lumberjacks set the school record for wins with a 21-7 season and achieved the 10th best turnaround in NCAA men’s basketball history. Howland was named the Big Sky Coach of the year.
“I was able to coach so many great players there, and having them there for this special moment meant a lot to me. I’ve followed their lives and seen what they’ve done with their careers and families. They will always be very special to me.”
(From MSU Media Relations)