Thursday morning, Mount Marty University announced its 11th head men’s basketball coach, who is looking to be the rock of a strong foundation for years to come.
“This program, for me, it’s tremendous,” Collin Authier, new Mount Marty men’s basketball coach, said. “This opportunity is phenomenal. I’ve worked my career for this opportunity and to not just have the opportunity to be a head coach, but one at a university that I believe so strongly in the core values is so important to me.”
Authier was announced as the new men’s basketball coach by interim Athletic Director Andy Bernatow Thursday. Mount Marty President Marc Long was also in attendance. Authier had his parents in attendance as he takes on his first head coaching job since getting into coaching 15 years ago. Authier said today is not about him, but the players in the locker room.
“My commitment right now is the full basketball experience for the guys in the locker room,” Authier said. “They’ve been through an absolute lot and so my commitment is to give them the best basketball experience as soon as possible.”
Bernatow said Authier’s commitment to hard work and investing into the program was a big draw to the hiring committee.
“We kinda looked at him and felt this guy’s really going to go to work, and in small college athletics, to be successful, it is a grind,” Bernatow said. “You have to be highly invested. When he talks about it’s not about him, its about the players, and he talked about how invested he is going to be, there’s a lot of admiration and appreciation for that.”
Bernatow is also Mount Marty’s baseball coach and said he knows exactly how difficult it is to win at the small college level and he knows the potential for Authier to find success is high.
Authier is coming to Mount Marty by way of Augustana most recently. Authier was an assistant for the last seven years there. Augustana held a 151-57 record with a 2016 National Title during Authier tenure.
“Augustana is extremely special,” Authier said. “I firmly believe they could win the national championship this year. I’m here (At Mount Marty) because of my belief in the university and belief in the program. I know you can win here. It’s going to take a lot of work, but you can win here, I firmly believe that.”
Authier was an assistant for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi prior to being at Augustana, where he helped lead the team to its highest team GPA in program history. Authier has coached 30 all-conference and 43 academic all-conference selections in his career.
“I’ll measure our success based on our academic performance and on guys that come in and give their best,” Authier said. “I want guys that don’t think they will get above 3.0 and they get a 3.3 or guys who think they are just around 3.0 to get 3.6 GPA. Those are the kids that I’m going to measure our success and our commitment to the holistic development of our guys.”
Authier’s focus is on academic success as well as being consistent on and off the court. Authier wants to build a consistent and stable routine for these guys, in hopes that players will then want to stick around for all four years.
“We need to take care of some things off the court and build that so guys can love and serve each other,” Authier said. “So, on the court, those things will take care of itself. It’s going to be a big focus of getting some consistency and stability for the guys, so they can excel on the basketball court.”
Authier believes take building that consistency he desires starts with recruiting, and recruiting the right players who will buy into the program. Authier said he doesn’t want the roster to be a ‘revolving door’ of players coming and leaving after one or two years.
“I don’t want a revolving door,” Authier said. “We need to build consistency and stability, and because of that we need to have graduates, alums, guys that are here for four years and buy in and believe in this university because I believe in this university. I believe in the education that you’re going to get.”
Bernatow reiterated the desire the University had in finding a candidate who would look to build consistency in the men’s basketball program.
“We gathered information about what our next leader needs to look like, and what he needs to be,” Bernatow said. “We saw things like one to develop continuity, want to develop consistency and stability within the program. Him (Authier) showing the ability to do that is want really rose him to the top.”
Some recent players told Bernatow about the difficulties of playing through the turnover at the coaching position, and Authier’s commitment to Yankton caught the attention of the hiring committee.
“We’ve had a lot of coaches in recent years and the players talked about how difficult that was,” Bernatow said. “Collin (Authier) talked about how he does want to plant his roots somewhere, and he wants to build something that is his.”
Authier wants his team and Mount Marty as a whole to be connected with Yankton, and Yankton to be connected with the university and his team.
“Excellence is the standard in everything we do,” Authier said. “Our commitment to doing that is going to be very important to me, not just basketball wise, but academic wise. It’s going to be in the community with our community service, our walk with Christ, and how we are growing and developing with that.”
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