NJCAA Hall of Fame Coach brings vision and experience to new program
Jay Pivec, one of the top coaches in the history of NJCAA Division III basketball, has been named head coach of the new men’s basketball team at Dakota County Technical College. Pivec is best known as the legendary head coach of the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Mavericks.
Pivec and DCTC are gearing up to launch Blue Knights men’s basketball in October 2011. The plan for now is to have the team compete as an independent at the NJCAA DII level, but having the Knights join a conference is also a possibility.
“My job at DCTC presents several similarities to when I took over an MCTC team in 1990 that had just come off an 0–21 season,” Pivec said. “I’m looking forward to building a program from scratch. Working from the ground up, we’ll be able to get our thumbprints all over this thing.”
Pivec’s thumbprint is already renowned in the realm of NJCAA DIII basketball. An eight-time Minnesota College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, he entered the MCAC Hall of Fame in 2002. During his career at MCTC, he posted a 425–115 record, leading the Mavericks to four appearances in the DIII national tournament, including two second-place finishes—the last in 2009, a tough one-point loss to Richland College, ending a 33–2 season that saw the team ranked number one in the nation for seven consecutive weeks on the NJCAA DIII poll.
That same year, Pivec was named the NJCAA Division III Coach of the Year. In 2010, he entered the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. With 452 wins under his belt, he ranks second among active DIII coaches for career victories. While at MCTC, he coached eight NJCAA First-Team All-Americans, a feat unmatched by any other DIII program in the U.S.
“Right from the start at DCTC, it will be very important to prove to the community that our players are both serious students and ready to play at the highest level,” said Pivec, who will be focusing a good share of his recruiting energy in the South Metro, building on already strong relationships with high school coaches in Rosemount, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Lakeville, Eagan, Farmington, Hastings and other cities in the area. “One of the primary goals of our program will be to guide our students on to four-year colleges and universities where they can continue their academic and athletic careers. DCTC is the beginning, not the end—and that’s what will separate us from the pack.”
“I’m looking forward to building a program from scratch. Working from the ground up, we’ll be able to get our thumbprints all over this thing.”
Two out of three of Pivec’s players at MCTC went on to play basketball at four-year institutions with two out of three of the transfers earning bachelor’s degrees. Cam Stoltz, the athletic coordinator at DCTC, echoes Pivec’s dedication to the future success of DCTC student-athletes.
“Hiring Jay to lead our new basketball program was the obvious choice,” Stoltz said. “He has an unsurpassed track record of mentoring his players and pointing them in the right direction. He is famous for giving opportunities to players while preparing them for the highest levels of college basketball and life. He also knows how to field championship-caliber teams.”
Stoltz went on to say that taking the step to start a men’s basketball program at DCTC fits perfectly with the strategic plan of an athletic department with five other sports—women and men’s soccer, fastpitch softball and women’s volleyball.
“Basketball is a paramount sport when it comes to intercollegiate athletics,” he said. “With Jay Pivec at the helm, we are on course to make our new basketball program a boon to our students, our surrounding communities, DCTC athletics and the college as a whole.”
Pivec reported that Ron Gates, who worked as his assistant coach for all his 20 seasons at MCTC, will be joining the Blue Knights in his former role. Pivec also expressed his wish for the college to work in partnership with area communities and other entities to pursue the construction of a multipurpose arena on the DCTC Rosemount campus that would serve not only his program, but also other sports, particularly volleyball, in addition to housing important collegiate and community functions and events.
Jay Pivec | Professional Achievements
- Minnesota College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year
- 1993, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010
- Minnesota College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame
- NJCAA Basketball Hall of Fame
- NJCAA Region XIII Coach of the Year
- 1993, 1995, 2004, 2009
- Phi Theta Kappa Teaching Excellence Award
- Head Coach NJCAA National All-Star Team
- NJCAA National Coach of the Year
- MCTC Head Coaching Record
- 20 Seasons: 452–115
- Head Coaching Record
- 28 Seasons: 563–242
- Assistant Coaching Record
- Four Seasons: 91–26
- Coached eight NJCAA First-Team All-Americans