Bethany Lutheran hires men's coach
|David Balza coached Florida Gulf Coast through its transition from Division II to Division I.|
Bethany Lutheran is excited to announce David Balza as the new head men’s basketball coach.
Balza has spent over 20 years in both the NCAA Division I and II levels, the last 13 of which he has been a head coach. During that time his teams have won eight in-season tournament championships. Balza has spent the last nine seasons as the head coach at Florida Gulf Coast. There he built the NCAA Division II program from scratch accumulating a 114-39 record, and then oversaw the transition from Division II to NCAA Division I before being let go in March.
He replaces Rick Jeddeloh, who resigned after the season after eight years as head coach. The Vikings were 11-15 this past season.
Prior to his experience at Florida Gulf Coast, Balza was the head basketball coach at Saint Joseph’s where he won coach of the year in both the conference and region.
“Bethany was blessed to have a deep pool of candidates for our men’s basketball position and as we proceeded through the process one candidate stood out,” athletic director Karl Fager said. “Not only does Dave have an impressive basketball resume but also a deep understanding and appreciation for the mission of the college. His collaborative personality was infectious among the athletic department staff during the interview process. I look forward to having a man of his faith on our staff and working with him for many years to come.”
Balza takes pride in developing his student-athletes on and off the court. During his time at Florida Gulf Coast, Balza coached the institution's first-ever 1st Team Academic All-American. He also makes a tremendous effort to teach his student-athletes civic responsibility, and has been a part of many community service programs. Balza plans on continuing his and his team’s tradition of community involvement upon reaching Mankato.
“I feel very blessed and excited to have been selected as
the head men’s basketball coach at Bethany Lutheran
College,” Balza said. “I would like to thank Dr. Bruss,
VP Steve Jaeger and AD Karl Fager for the opportunity to serve the
Lord as a Christian mentor while developing the academic and
athletic talents of the young men in the basketball program. In my
short visit during the interview process, I was very impressed with
the wonderful people at the college as well as in Mankato and the
surrounding southern Minnesota area.
"It is my goal to build the basketball program into an exciting rallying point for the campus and community as a whole. We will do so by playing an up-tempo, defensive-minded, blue-collar brand of basketball in a way that gives glory to God for the gifts and opportunities that He alone gives to our players and coaches. With that in mind, I look forward to building on the tremendous values, history and tradition of Bethany Lutheran College.”
Balza’s official start date as the head men’s basketball coach will be June 13, 2011.