Valley Forge coach steps down

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As the 2016–2017 basketball season comes to a close at Valley Forge, the campus celebrated the jersey retirement of men's basketball head coach Jon Mack, as he completes his time with UVF. Mack remains one of UVF's record-setting athletes and has shaped UVF athletics as men's basketball head coach for 17 seasons and athletic director for 13 years. 

Mack led his team with integrity, teaching student-athletes to represent UVF well. He is the longest-tenured coach with the most wins in UVF athletic history. He celebrated 286 career wins, 10 National Christian College Athletic Association Division II national tournament appearances, seven NCCAA II regional championships, and three NCCAA II runner-up spots. Mack received the NCCAA II National Coach of the Year award three times, and the NCCAA II East Region Coach of the Year award seven times. Under his leadership, UVF men's basketball was also ranked in the 2016–2017 NCCAA top 10 rankings for Men's Basketball Division II. Executive director of the NCCAA, Dan Wood said of Mack, " ... The NCCAA wishes to thank Coach Mack for his impact on young men who are now better husbands, fathers and employees due to a coach who cared enough to grow them through this amazing game."

As director, Mack reintroduced baseball, men's and women's cross country, and added men's golf and women's softball to the roster of sports. In his last year, Mack led UVF athletics to earn National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III status.

Over the years, he has been a mentor, friend, and an example of a godly man for students and the UVF community. His mission was to use athletics to teach young men to grow and become God-honoring men in all that they do. "He is one of the most influential men in my life and has invested and equipped me with life tools that I still carry with me today. I am beyond grateful to have played, learned and been a part of the program under Coach Mack," said Lance Harris.  

Peter Beers, Lancaster Bible athletic director, competed against Mack with a deep respect. "He is a teammate, and even though we played on different teams for the past 12 years, our goals were the same — to train young men, through sport, to be men of God who make an impact for Christ in our communities. Jon, more than any other, embraced this process and pursued it with all his being," he said.  

Mack was a record-setting student-athlete during his four undergraduate years at UVF. He was recognized for his skills on the basketball court as UVF's all-time career leading scorer with 3,494 points, and a record of 1,250 rebounds. He received honorable awards such as NCCAA Division II All-American and NCCAA National Player of the Year Finalist. He served as team captain of both the basketball and soccer teams and was a model teammate and leader. 

During Mack's last home game on February 18, 2017, UVF athletics presented him with a game ball. The ball was covered with signatures of individuals who were directly influenced by his incredible leadership throughout his career at UVF. His jersey number, 42, was officially retired and his number banner was hung from the rafters of the gym in honor of the immense influence he had on and off the court. Gretchen LeVan, UVF director of athletics, has known Mack for the past 13 years as a coach and colleague, and has seen how he shaped the department over the years. LeVan said, "I know that when he has a passion or desire to accomplish something, he stops at nothing to make it happen, and happen well. I am beyond blessed to call him a friend."