Dernbach named UW-La Crosse men’s basketball head coach
Almond native and former University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) men’s basketball assistant coach Kent Dernbach was named the head coach of the UW-La Crosse men’s basketball team Monday, March 12, after he served as the team’s interim head coach for the 2017-18 season.
“I am so happy to announce Kent as our permanent coach,” said UW-La Crosse director of athletics Kim Blum. “It was very clear throughout the season and during the interview process how much being the head men’s basketball coach at UW-La Crosse means to him.
“He worked incredibly hard to demonstrate his willingness to do whatever it takes to create a dynamic culture that allows student-athletes to succeed on and off the court,” she said. “Kent knows what it takes to win and the players bought in to the vision of what he hopes to accomplish with the program.”
“It is an honor to be named the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse,” said Dernbach. “I would like to thank Kim Blum, the athletic department, and the entire La Crosse community for the welcome my family and I have felt over the past five months.”
Dernbach was an assistant coach at UWSP from 2011 through 2017, which included the Pointers winning the 2015 NCAA Division III National Title, while he served as the interim head coach for UWSP for the final 13 games of the 2016-17 season, as the team went 8-5.
Just a month before the start of this season, Dernbach was named the interim head coach at La Crosse Oct. 3 for the 2017-18 season.
He went on to guide the team to a spot in the six-team Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament, where it lost to 76-74 to 24th-ranked and eventual Final Four team UW-Oshkosh to have its season come to a close with a 13-13 record.
“UW-La Crosse has a standard of excellence, both in sport and academic reputation,” said Dernbach. “I am determined to build a championship culture in our basketball program. Our standard must include continuing to move forward as we consistently compete for WIAC championships and NCAA Tournament appearances.
“I have been fortunate to lead a quality group of young men this past season who have welcomed me into their lives,” he said. “I am grateful to those players and our staff for having blind trust in laying a foundation for years to come.”