TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Northeastern State University Director of Athletics and Chief Athletics Officer Tony Duckworth, announced on Tuesday that Mark Downey will be hired as the university’s head men’s basketball coach.
Downey joins NSU Athletics as its tenth men’s basketball coach in its history and carries a 204-103 overall head coaching record, with four NCAA Division II Tournament Appearances, and has been named Coach of the Year six times.
“This is an exciting day for RiverHawks Nation,” said Duckworth. “Mark Downey surfaced as the clear choice among an outstanding pool of applicants during our national search. Division II AD’s, current and retired basketball coaches highly respect his abilities as a coach. NSU and D-II basketball are significantly enhanced today by Mark returning to the level he loves. He clearly understands the D-II model as reflected by the four NCAA tournament appearances he enjoyed as a head coach. Mark’s knowledge of our region will allow him to hit the ground running. I look forward to the immediate positive impact he will make on RiverHawks Basketball. Welcome to Green and White Nation, Coach Downey.”
Downey has a long history of success and coached 35 All-Conference Players, seven Conference Players of the Year, five All-Americans, four Conference Tournament MVPs, four Freshman of the Year, and over 45 former players playing professionally.
In the postseason, Downey is 19-6 in the conference tournaments, and he holds a 17-6 record in overtime games, with two wins against the top-ranked team in the nation.
Downey comes to NSU after two seasons at Fort Wayne (NCAA DI) as the program’s top assistant on the bench, and has helped the Mastodons to appearances in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) and the NIT, while going 44-23. Prior to Fort Wayne, Downey spent the 2014-15 season at Bowling Green where they went 20-12, and he helped direct them into the second round of the CIT. While with the Falcons, he helped coach Richaun Holmes, the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and a second round NBA draft pick of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Downey will be returning to NCAA Division II Basketball where he directed three different programs into the NCAA Tournament.
“We can’t put into words how excited I am to become the next head men’s basketball coach at Northeastern State University. My wife and I want to thank, Athletic Director, Tony Duckworth and President Turner for believing in us to bring the RiverHawks’ program to national prominence,” said Downey. “We are truly grateful and ready to hit the ground running.”
“While I was Arkansas Tech, I watched Coach Larry Gipson build a solid program and win a National Championship. The strong tradition at NSU excites me and energizes me. We want to build off that tradition and add to the success of the past. I look forward to consulting Coach Gipson and building a lasting friendship with him and his family. He and his brother, Randy will be a valuable resource for a program.”
“My staff and I will build a roster with high character individuals that love to not only play the game, but work every day to get better. Two things that I will guarantee to the fans, no team in the country will play harder than the RiverHawks and we will graduate our players. Our teams will be relentless both on and off the floor.”