Coach Kris Korver seized his 500th win against Mount Marty on Saturday, Feb. 12. The animated Bultman Center crowd witnessed Korver’s Senior Day finesse of the Lancers and were not disappointed.
Korver’s squad hounded Mount Marty to a 98-70 loss, led by redshirt sophomore Matt Onken’s career-high of 41 points, including seven three pointers. The 6’5” forward averages 11.5 points and 6.1 rebounds, shooting a sturdy 56% from the field.
The Mount Marty game was both a simple step in Korver’s road to success and a monumental accomplishment.
“His 500th career win was an awesome thing to be a part of and to help him reach it!”
From the birth of his career at NW when he assumed the head coach position for the 2000-01 season, Korver has trained his players to be godly men first and successful athletes second.
“Northwestern has always been about training, equipping and raising up the next generation of servant leaders. We get to be a part of God’s never-ending Kingdom expansion,” said Korver.
He has made this evident throughout his years as a coach. Onken shared that, “he cares about the guys in more ways than just basketball, he cares about leading us how to be better men as well.”
The relationships Korver has cultivated define his success, and ultimately, his legacy. However, statistics prove that character development can lead to victories on the basketball court. Fifteen NAIA Division II National Championship trips and 28 All-Americans later, 500 wins almost seems insignificant. At the helm of NW athletics, Vice President Dr. Micah Parker recognizes Korver’s vision.
“It is a blessing to have leaders who fit the mission of the college first…and who also happen to win at a high level. Five hundred wins is a lot, especially at one school. I suspect that Korver’s influence for the Gospel has reached more than 500 people,” said Parker.
The numbers do not lie and neither do the athletes who have been under Coach Korver’s direction. Freshman guard Conner Geddes added six points, three rebounds, and four assists in the victory against Mount Marty, and averages 7.8 points per game. Geddes realizes the extent of Korver’s influence on the lives of him and his teammates.
“On the court, he has helped me tremendously to become a better player, and off the court, he has mentored me on how to be a better person and follower of Christ… His 500th win shows how dedicated Coach Korver is to the program and the winning culture that he has created here.”
Numbers and wins aside, Korver has begun something magical in the Bultman Center— a place where lives can be transformed for Christ.