ECK, ONTJES ARE KBCA COACHES OF THE YEAR

ECK, ONTJES ARE KBCA COACHES OF THE YEAR

HCC Sports Information
Saturday, June 24, 2017

SALINA – Hutchinson Community College basketball coaches were recognized on Saturday by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association as that group's 2017 Two-Year College Coaches of the Year.

During a reception before Saturday's annual KBCA All-Star Games at Kansas Wesleyan University, KBCA president Randy Walling made the announcement that both Blue Dragon coaches were named Coaches of the Year.

Eck led the Blue Dragon men to a third-straight NJCAA Tournament and took Hutchinson all the way to the NJCAA National Championship in March. Ontjes guided the Blue Dragon women's basketball team to that program's fifth NJCAA Tournament in six seasons.

STEVE ECK
Through eight seasons on Hutchinson's bench, Eck is now 231-46 at Hutchinson. His 231 wins and .834 winning percentage with the Blue Dragons are both second-best in program history. He became the ninth Blue Dragon head coach to lead the storied junior college program into the NJCAA Tournament and has done so now four times in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

After finishing as the NJCAA national runner-up in 2016, Eck and the Blue Dragons finished things off the right way this past season with the program's third overall men's basketball national championship and the most decisive national championship game margin of victory in NJCAA Tournament history after a 84-58 victory over Eastern Florida State.

Eck was named the 2017 NJCAA Division I Coach of the Year.

The 2017 National Champion Blue Dragons featured an overall record of 35-2, a second-straight Jayhawk Conference championship and the best player in the NJCAA.

Forward Shakur Juiston was named the NJCAA and NABC National Player of the Year as well as Jayhawk Conference and Region VI Player of the Year. Juiston was also the Region VI Tournament and NJCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player.

Samajae Haynes-Jones was a second-team NJCAA All-American as well.

This is the second-straight season that Eck has been recognized by the KBCA as its two-year coach of the year.

JOHN ONTJES
In just his second season, John Ontjes led the Blue Dragons to their first Region VI championship in 32 years. Now 10 years into his tenure, Hutchinson women's basketball is among the nation's elite.

Ontjes has now led the HCC women's program to six Jayhawk Conference championships in the last seven seasons, six Region VI championships – winning four consecutive from 2012 to 2015 – three NJCAA national runner-up finishes (2012, 2014, 2015) and a national tournament third-place finish in 2013.

Ontjes' coaching record is now 287-62 overall, including an astounding 140-32 mark in Jayhawk Conference games. Ontjes is Hutchinson's all-time women's basketball coaching wins leader and leader in winning percentage (82.2 percent) Ontjes reached 100 wins (119 games) faster than any previous HCC coach. He posted the second-most wins (40) in his first 50 games at HCC. He was also the second fastest to 50 wins (62 games).

Ontjes has been named the Jayhawk West coach of the year six times (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017) and the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association's Junior College coach of the year five times (2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017). In the summer of 2015, Ontjes was named the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission's Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year five times.

During the 2016-17 season, Ontjes guided the Blue Dragons to a 33-2 record, which included a shared Jayhawk Conference championship and the program's seventh Region VI Tournament championship. The Blue Dragons put together a 32-game winning streak.

Sophomore Bride Kennedy-Hopoate was a third-team NJCAA All-American.