The Decaturian

Millikin Men’s Basketball Enters the Scherer Era

Rory Arnold, Writer

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After almost a month of searching, Millikin University’s Director of Athletics Dr. Craig White has hired Mark Scherer as the new Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball Team. With Scherer’s arrival brings a new perspective as well as a promise of a turnaround for this program.

In his 24 years coaching college basketball, he has spent 17 seasons within our own CCIW as the head coach of the Elmhurst College program. This experience came with 10 top-four finishes within the conference and was twice in the top two—one of which brought his team to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

When talking about his previous achievements as the head coach at Elmhurst, Scherer focused on the players more than the game, saying, “I value my relationships with my former players the most, many of them are at the age where they’re on their own and starting their own families and I’m still in contact with them, and I really like watching their success in life.”

When asked about becoming the new Head Coach, Scherer stated that his job is to implement a culture of success:

“We’re gonna do this through working hard, keeping positive, embracing all of our students, and we’re just gonna put one foot in front of another and work our way there.”

Scherer is very optimistic about the direction of the program and wants to ensure that the attitude and focus of the Big Blue will be supremely different than it was in the past in order to become a successful team.

“I think winning is a combination of work ethic, recruiting talent and ability, the X’s and O’s, and then the head coach has to have the wisdom and experience to manage that in a way that allows success.” Scherer said.

In terms of the direction his new team will take, Scherer is going to apply hard work that will create something longstanding and different from the past programs.

“My goal is to have a great program,” Scherer said, “and not just great teams.” Scherer’s focus on the program as a whole instead will consist of a style much more aggressive than in the Big Blue’s past.

“We’re going to extend our defense and play very tough and disrupt our opponents’ offense. We’re going to create turnovers which lead to an exciting brand of transition basketball,” Scherer said.

When talking about this style, Scherer also said, “You will see a team that’s stronger physically than the opponents and in better shape. I want our fans to expect that when they walk into the arena. [Our players] are going to be hard-nosed and physical on the court, and it’s not going to be fun to play against Millikin.”

The gameplay in the past for the Millikin men’s basketball team certainly didn’t revolve around this sort of flair, which means the transition into the Scherer Era will be a huge change for the program as well as the players involved, potentially being a challenge in future seasons.

“We’re going to embrace the challenges and we’re going to win. It’s going to be fun to be a part of the Big Blue and it’s not going to be fun to play against us,” Scherer said, who also feels that the support of the Millikin administration is paramount in overcoming obstacles in the future.

“I feel like I have 100% support from our administration . . . We’re going to work hard to get 100% support from our students and our faculty. That’s what I think makes or breaks a program.”

Under Scherer, the Big Blue is going to see an immense change in attitude, gameplay, and focus for the better, which will hopefully present success in the very near future.

“We’re going to concentrate on togetherness, hard work, caring about each other, and making good decisions,” said Scherer, “those are the things that matter.”

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Millikin Men’s Basketball Enters the Scherer Era