McPherson College Athletics Director, Andrew Ehling, has announced that Men’s Basketball Coach Tim Swartzendruber has resigned to become the next athletic director at Pratt Community College.
Swartzendruber has been at the helm of the Bulldog men’s basketball program for the past 11 seasons and has been a head basketball coach for the past 37 Years. He started his coaching at Newton High School. He spent three seasons with the Railers then moved on for a four year stint at Wellington High. He left Wellington after the 1989 season and made the move to Kingman High School, where he would coach and teach for the next 15 years.
In 2004 he made the jump to the collegiate level, getting his first head coaching job at Hesston College, in Hesston, Kansas. He spent four years coaching the Larks, guiding them to two 20-win seasons, and in back-to-back years, he took them to the Region VI title game.
When Roger Trimmell, longtime Bulldog head coach, retired following the 2008 season, the college hired Swartzendruber to be his successor. In his 11 seasons on the sidelines, Swartzendruber guided the Bulldogs to 170 wins. Coach Swartzendruber has a long list of accomplishments as the leader of the Bulldog men’s basketball program. Four times in 11 seasons, his team qualified for the NAIA DII National Tournament, a first in school history. In 2010-11, the Bulldogs made it to the Elite Eight, and a year later, they went one round further, making it to the Final Four.
The Bulldogs were the KCAC regular season champions once (2011-12) during his tenure, and the tournament champions twice (2011-12, 2012-13). The 2011-12 Bulldogs finished the year at 33-4 overall, and were 18-0 at home that season. Twice his teams were named the KCAC Team of Character, back to back in 2017-18 and 2018-19. For his efforts in 2011-12, Coach Swartzendruber was named KCAC Coach of the Year, and Kansas College Coach of the Year.
He was fortunate to work with some highly talented individuals during his time with Bulldogs as well. Seven of his players were named KCAC All-Conference First Team, one was the KCAC Player of the Year, and three were named NAIA All-American. Nine of his players were recognized as NAIA Scholar Athletes, and twice the team was recognized an NAIA Scholar Team.
Some of his other accomplishments include overseeing the renovation of the men’s basketball locker room, trips to Florida, California and Puerto Rico, where the team played and also participated in service projects. He was instrumental in starting “Bulldog Madness” to kick off each season, and also started the “Faculty Coach” program, recognizing a faculty member at each home conference basketball game. He was also active with in the KCAC, serving the past few seasons as the chairman of the men’s basketball coaches.
One impressive part of his legacy as a Bulldog, is the number of former players and assistant coaches, that have gone on to coach at other high schools, colleges, and universities. They include Blaine Clardy (former assistant coach), who is currently an assistant girls coach at Central High School in St. Joseph, Missouri; Brandon Cameron (former player and student assistant coach), an assistant boys coach at Lawrence Free State High School in Lawrence, Kansas; Dwayne Thomas (former player), now the head boys coach and athletic director at KIPP Charter School in Houston, Texas; Jordan Crawford (former player and student assistant coach), the head girls coach at El Dorado High School in El Dorado, Kansas; Carson Clay (former player and student assistant coach), currently the head girls coach at Choctaw Middle School, in Choctaw, Oklahoma; Erik DeRoo (former player), an assistant women’s coach for Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas; Kyle Lakin (former player), currently an assistant boys coach for Westmoore High school in Moore, Oklahoma; Derek Bevan (former player), currently the head boys coach at Bucklin High School, in Bucklin, Kansas.
“My years at McPherson College have been some of the best of my career,” Swartzendruber said. “I can’t say enough about the tremendous support I’ve had during my tenure.” The administration, faculty and staff have all been great. I have been blessed with outstanding assistant coaches and players. It is very difficult to leave, but I am excited about my new opportunity and having a chance to lead an athletic department. We only had two seniors on our team this past year so the future is bright for the next coach at McPherson College. I wish them nothing but the best.”
“Coach Swartzendruber is an excellent coach and even better person,” said Ehling. “He’s a mentor, teacher, family man. I could go on and on with how Coach has made a positive influence in people’s lives at McPherson College including, myself. Coach Swartzendruber is going to make a wonderful athletic director. Pratt is getting a good one.”
Swartzendruber will begin his duties as athletic director for the Beavers beginning Monday, Mar. 18, 2019. A national search for the next Bulldog head men’s basketball coach, will begin immediately.