Green Bay hires Linc Darner as next head coach

Photo: Florida Southern Athletics

Green Bay has hired Linc Darner to fill its head coaching vacancy, the school announced Tuesday. Darner coached at Division II Florida Southern for nine seasons, guided the program to the 2015 national title.

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity that I have been preparing for since I began my coaching career,” Darner said in a release. “I am honored and grateful to lead the Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball program.”

Photo: Florida Southern Athletics
Photo: Florida Southern Athletics

Darner replaces Brian Wardle, who accepted the head coaching position at Bradley last month after five seasons with the Phoenix.

Green Bay won 24 games each of the last two seasons, but Darner inherits a roster with plenty of question marks. The Phoenix lose Horizon League Player of the Year Keifer Sykes, as well as second-leading scorer Greg Mays. Additionally, promising freshman Daeshon Francis is expected to transfer.

Darner has an impressive track record but minimal experience in Division I.

Prior to coaching at Florida Southern, Darner held the same position at St. Joseph’s College (Ind.). He was also an assistant coach at Ashland University, Lincoln Memorial and Murray State, his only Division I stop.

Darner played his collegiate ball at Purdue from 1990 to 1994. He was a captain of the 1994 team that won the Big Ten and advanced to the Elite Eight.

“From the very start of our process, Linc’s experience as a head coach impressed all of us,” athletics director Mary Ellen Gillespie said in a statement. “He has had tremendous success as a basketball coach and will be an outstanding coach and mentor for our student-athletes. He is a proven winner, and on top of the wins, he runs outstanding programs. After a thorough and comprehensive search process, there is no doubt he is a perfect fit for this institution and our men’s basketball program.”

Darner will be introduced Wednesday at a 10 a.m. press conference, which will be televised on ESPN3.

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