Bethel College men’s basketball coach Mike Lightfoot to retire after season

(Photo supplied/Bethel College)

After 39 years in the coaching game and the last 30 at his alma mater, Mike Lightfoot is calling it quits.

Lightfoot will retire as Bethel College‘s men’s basketball coach at the end of the 2016-2017 season. He’ll formally announce his retirement at a press conference Thursday, according to the college.

“My entire career has been an unbelievable blessing,” stated Lightfoot. “I am so proud of the program we have built here at Bethel and I couldn’t have asked for better players, assistant coaches and supporters along this journey.”

Lightfoot was hired at Bethel College in 1987 following in the footsteps of his mentor Homer Drew, who went on to coach a year at IU-South Bend before becoming noteworthy for his 22 seasons coaching Valparaiso.

Lightfoot’s 763 wins in his career places him sixth all-time among NAIA coaches and is the highest among active Division II coaches. His .732 career win percentage is also the second-highest among active NAIA coaches. In his 30 year tenure at Bethel, he’s achieved 27 winning-seasons, coached 31 NAIA All-Americans, and coached the team to 36 all-time No. 1 rankings, which is the most ever in NAIA Division II basketball.

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