By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was quite the weekend for Delaware Valley College head men’s basketball coach Casey Stitzel.
When his Division III Aggies beat Ramapo on Saturday, 81-80, it not only improved them to 7-6 this season, but the victory also marked the 87th for Stitzel at Del Val, making him the winningest head coach in program history (his career record now stands at 87-83). He passed John Silan, who went 86-107 in nine seasons from 1966 to 1976.
“It’s a very nice honor,” Stitzel tells KYW Newsradio. “All the hard work you put in to be a basketball coach and all the hard work we’ve put in since we’ve been hired here at Del Val seven years ago, it’s a nice accomplishment. Makes you feel good about all the hard work you’re putting in.”
Stitzel has really done an outstanding job in Doylestown. This is his seventh season and he took over a team in 2008 that was coming off a 3-22 campaign. In addition, the program hadn’t had a winning record in a regular season since the 1986-87 season. With Stitzel at the helm, the Aggies have won two Freedom Conference titles and earned two NCAA Tournament berths. But the 32-year-old Stitzel says he’s had a lot of help along the way.
Listen to Casey Stitzel with KYW’s Matt Leon:
“Any good coach will tell you that if you don’t have good players, it’s not going to matter,” Stitzel says. “And the first thing we needed to do here seven years ago was get better players. That’s where it starts. Then you have to create the culture, the culture of winning and this is how you’re going to win, this is how you’re going to behave off the court, this is what you’re going to do in the classroom. And then obviously, any coach will tell you also, that you have to have great assistants. I’ve had multiple assistants move on, one of my assistants is now an assistant at Princeton. And we have plenty of guys who have moved on to head high school jobs and assistant high school jobs. So having great staff, having great players has been huge with rebuilding this problem. We’ve been to the NCAA Tournament, we hope eventually be able to win games in the NCAA Tournament and take this program to another level.”
Stitzel likes what he has with his squad this season.
“I’m going to say the same thing I’ve been telling people since we started practicing on October 15th,” Stitzel says. “This team is as talented, if not more talented, than any team we’ve ever had. We’re just a little inconsistent right now. We’ve played a really good schedule. We’ve probably played four or five teams that have a chance to win their conference. We’ve played teams from very good power conferences in Division III. I’m hoping that that’s really going to pay off for us once we play 12 more games, and they’re all conference games, starting on the 14th. So if the chemistry keeps coming along and they keep working hard, this group can be one of my better teams.”
Delaware Valley College returns to the court on January 14th when they play that Freedom Conference opener on the road against Manhattanville College.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.
You may also be interested in these Sports stories: