Swartzendruber resigns as Mac basketball coach

By Steve Sell
March 15, 2019

Longtime McPherson College men’s basketball coach Tim Swartzendruber has announced his resignation in order to accept the position of athletic director at Pratt Community College.

McPherson College made the announcement in a release this morning. He will begin his duties at Pratt on Friday.

Swartzendruber had been the Bulldogs’ head coach since the 2008-09 season, succeeding the retiring Roger Trimmell, who stepped down after 27 years and gave Swartzendruber a high recommendation at the time. Swartzendruber enjoyed an inordinate amount of success during his early years, including an unprecedented four straight trips to the NAIA National Tournament from 2010 to 2013.

“My years at McPherson College have been some of the best of my career,” Swartzendruber said in a press release. “I can’t say enough about the tremendous support I’ve had during my tenure. The administration, faculty and staff have all been great. I have been blessed with outstanding assistant coaches and players. It is very difficult to leave, but I am excited about my new opportunity and having a chance to lead an athletic department. We only had two seniors on our team this past year, so the future is bright for the next coach at McPherson College. I wish them nothing but the best.”

“Coach Swartzendruber is an excellent coach and even better person,” Mac Athletic Director Andrew Ehling said in the release. “He’s a mentor, teacher, family man...I could go on and on with how coach has made a positive influence in people’s lives at McPherson College including myself. Coach Swartzendruber is going to make a wonderful athletic director. Pratt is getting a good one.”

Ehling said the hiring process for a new coach will begin immediately.

Swartzendruber’s final record at Mac was 170-173, but in 2011-12 the Bulldogs were an astounding 33-4 and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament semifinals. The year before, the Bulldogs had broken the school record for wins in going 21-14, advancing to the Elite Eight at nationals.

Swartzendruber came to McPherson College after a four-year stint at Hesston College, where he was 70-56. The Larks were 23-9 and ranked in the Top 15 in NJCAA Division II for his best year.

Before Hesston, Swartzendruber coached at the high school level at Newton, Wellington and Kingman. He has been a coach for 37 years.

He is a 1977 graduate of Hesston High School and 1981 graduate of Bethel College. He earned a Masters in Sports Administration from Wichita State in 1994.

In 2004, he was named the Kansas Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year and also was recognized by the National Federation of High School Activities as the Midwest Section Coach of the Year.

The Swartzendruber coaching tree has many extensions.

They include Blaine Clardy (former assistant coach), who is currently an assistant girls coach at Central High School in St. Joseph, Mo.; Brandon Cameron (former player and student assistant coach), an assistant boys coach at Lawrence Free State High School, Dwayne Thomas (former player), now the head boys coach and athletic director at KIPP Charter School in Houston; Jordan Crawford (former player and student assistant coach), the head girls coach at El Dorado High School; Carson Clay (former player and student assistant coach), currently the head girls coach at Choctaw Middle School, in Choctaw, Okla.; Erik DeRoo (former player), an assistant women’s coach for Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas; Kyle Lakin (former player), currently an assistant boys coach for Westmoore High School in Moore, Okla.; and Derek Bevan (former player), currently the head boys coach at Bucklin High School.

Swartzendruber and his wife, Susan, are the parents of five children — Tyler, Taylor, Clayton, Landon and Kinley.