Wright State Raiders men's basketball

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wright State Raiders
2016–17 Wright State Raiders men's basketball team
Wright State Raides logo.png
University Wright State University
Head coach Scott Nagy (1st season)
Conference Horizon League
Location Fairborn, Ohio
Arena Nutter Center
(Capacity: 12,000)
Nickname Raiders
Student section Raider Rowdies
Colors Hunter Green and Vegas Gold[1]
Kit body thinsidesonwhite.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts blanksides2.png
Team colours
Kit body blacksides.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts blacksides.png
Team colours
Kit body thingreensides.png
Alternate jersey
Kit shorts greensides.png
Team colours
NCAA Tournament champions
1983 (Division II)
NCAA Tournament appearances
1993, 2007
Conference tournament champions
Mid-Continent Conference
Horizon League
Conference regular season champions
Horizon League

The Wright State Raiders is the NCAA Division 1 basketball team that represents Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. The school's team currently competes in the Horizon League. The Raiders won their only National Championship in 1983 as a DII school and have made a total of 2 NCAA Tournament appearances. The team last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2007. The Raiders play at the Ervin J. Nutter Center in Fairborn, Ohio in what is often nicknamed the 'NUTT HOUSE'. The official capacity for basketball games is 10,000.


Wright State first sponsored men's basketball in 1970 under the direction of Coach John Ross. First year varsity letter winners included: Mark Beilinski, Jerry Butcher, Mark Donahue, Jerry Hecht, John Hildebrand, Chuck Horton, Jim Schellhase, Doug Taylor, Jim Thacker. Mike Zink. Paul Brown, and Gary Webb. Jim Thacker was named the MVP and Chuck Horton, Mark Donahue and John Hildebrand took the foul shooting honors. In 1983, Wright State won the Division II NCAA Tournament. Wright State moved to Division I in 1987, and have made NCAA Tournament appearances in 1993 and 2007.

Paul Biancardi era (2003–2005)[edit]

On April 8, 2003 Wright state announced that Paul Biancardi would be the new head coach. Before coaching Wright State Biancardi was an assistant at St. Louis, Boston College and Ohio State where he coached under Jim O'Brien. Recognized nationally, Biancardi was named the No. 1 assistant coach in the country by Hoop Scoop Online. In his first season as coach, Wright State finished with a 14–14 record and finished 5th in the Horizon League Standings with a 10–6 conference record and lost to Loyola (IL) in the first round of the conference tournament. In the 2004–2005 season Wright State would finish with a 15–15 while finishing 6th in the conference standings with an 8–8 record. During the Horizon League tournament the Raiders would beat Butler in the first round but lost to Detroit in the second round. In 2005–2006, Wright State's final record was 13–15, with an 8–8 conference record they would finish 7th in the standings. The Raiders would once again have an early exit from the Horizon League tournament, losing to UIC in the first round. Despite never having a winning season in the three seasons that Biancardi coached at Wright State, it was his recruiting classes that would set the Raiders up for success in the future. Wright State and Biancardi agreed to part after the NCAA barred him from recruiting for violating rules while he was an assistant at Ohio State.[2] Biancardi's final record at Wright State was 42–44

Brad Brownell era (2006–2009)[edit]

Brad Brownell left his position with UNC-Wilmington to take over the head coaching duties at Wright State beginning in the 2006–2007 basketball season. In his first season, Wright State was the regular season Horizon League Champion, going 23–10 overall, and 13–3 in conference play. Their 3 losses were at Youngstown State, at Butler, and at Milwaukee. In an impressive season, Wright State only lost one home game all season, that was a 3-point loss to Bowling Green. In the Horizon League Championship game, Wright State edged Butler 60–55 at the Nutter Center, and secured an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. They eventually earned a 12 seed, and lost in the first round to Pittsburgh.

The next three seasons were not as successful for Brownell as his first. Wright State has not won the regular season title since 2006. Wright State finished 3rd, 3rd, and 2nd respectfully over the 2007, 2008, and 2009 seasons. However, Brad did lead Wright State to 20-win seasons in each of his four years with the program. After the conclusion of the 2009–2010 season, Brad Brownell left Wright State to take the head coaching job at Clemson University.

Brownell finished his coaching at Wright State officially 84–45 and 49–21 in conference play in 4 completed seasons. More impressively, Brownell finished 58–10 in home contests over his 4 year tenure.

Billy Donlon era (2010–2016)[edit]

Billy Donlon took over the Wright State Men's Basketball program after the announcement that Brad Brownell would be leaving for Clemson. He has been the coach since the 2010–2011 season. In the 2012–2013 season, after being projected to finish last in the league, Wright State finished 3rd in the Horizon League, and earned a first round bye in the Horizon League tournament. Wright State would beat Youngstown State in the second round of the tournament to advance to the conference semi-finals where they would play the defending Horizon League tournament champion Detroit. Miles Dixon hit a baseline jumper from behind the backboard as time expired, lifting Wright State into the Horizon League tournament championship game for the first time since the 2009–2010 season. The team went on to lose to Valparaiso in the Horizon League Championship game by 6 points. Wright State was invited to the College Basketball Invitational where they would make it to the semi-finals before losing to eventual tournament champion Santa Clara. Billy Donlon also earned the Horizon League Coach of the Year award for Wright State's performance in the 2012–2013 season.

Building on what Brownell had started, Donlon presided over the most successful Wright State era since Coach Underhill left. Over his six seasons he accumulated an overall record 109–94 and played for the Horizon League Championship three of his final four seasons (2014–2015 was marred by injuries).

The 2015–2016 season was particularly impressive as Donlon guided a team projected to finish in the bottom half of the league to a second-place finish that included victories over every league opponent and a school-record 13–5 mark in the Horizon League regular season.

Following this impressive season Coach Donlon was controversially fired by athletic director Bob Grant. Bob Grant stated that the popular coach had failed to deliver a “top 100 program” and lacked wins against top-25 schools. Several pundits pointed out this was due to Butler leaving the league and athletic director Bob Grant consistently failing to provide a quality schedule.

Several coaches and pundits spoke critically of the unusual firing, including Archie Miller (UD), Chris Mack (Xavier), Paul Biancardi and Dan Dakich. Prior to the announcement, rumors persisted that Bob Grant had a personal difference with Coach Donlon and had given him an ultimatum to make the NCAA tournament to keep his job. For his part Bob Grant insisted that one of the best four-year runs in Wright State history reflected a diminished product on the court.

Retired numbers[edit]


The Wright State Raiders currently play their home games at the Ervin J. Nutter Center. Ervin J. Nutter, donated $1.5 million to Wright State University in 1986. Funds from both the state of Ohio and the university contributed an additional $8 million to construction efforts which began in 1988. Completed in 1990, Wright State would host the first event on December 1 where they would defeat Tennessee State 88–66.


The Raiders have had 8 coaches in their 43 years of history. Current coach Billy Donlon was hired in 2010 after Brad Brownell was announced as the new Clemson coach. Brownell is one of two coaches that has brought Wright State to the NCAA tournament, the other being the winningest coach in team history, Ralph Underhill. Underhill coached from 1978 to 1996 and accumulated 356 and a NCAA DII national championship in the 1982–83 season.

Coach Years Overall record
John Ross 1970–1974 65–54
Marcus Jackson 1975–1977 45–37
Ralph Underhill 1978–1995 356–162
Jim Brown 1996 7–20
Ed Schilling 1997–2002 75–93
Paul Biancardi 2003–2005 42–44
Brad Brownell 2006–2009 84–45
Billy Donlon 2010–2016 108–94
NCAA DII Record (1970–1986): 321–145
NCAA DI Record (1987–present): 439–377
Overall Record: 760–522

Current coaching staff[edit]

Name Position
Scott Nagy Head Coach
Brian Cooley Assistant coach
Clint Sergeant Assistant coach
Assistant coach
Nick Goff Director of Operations


WSU's records season by season since joining Division I in 1987.

Season Head Coach Overall Record Conf. Record Postseason
Division I Independent
1987–88 Ralph Underhill 16–11 0–0
1988–89 Ralph Underhill 17–11 0–0
1989–90 Ralph Underhill 21–7 0–0
1990–91 Ralph Underhill 19–9 0–0
Mid-Continent Conference
1991–92 Ralph Underhill 15–13 9–7
1992–93 Ralph Underhill 20–10 10–6 NCAA 1st Round
1993–94 Ralph Underhill 12–18 9–9
Midwestern Collegiate Conference
1994–95 Ralph Underhill 13–17 6–8
1995–96 Ralph Underhill 14–13 8–8
1996–97 Jim Brown 7–20 5–11
1997–98 Ed Schilling 10–18 3–11
1998–99 Ed Schilling 9–18 4–10
1999–2000 Ed Schilling 11–17 6–8
2000–01 Ed Schilling 18–11 8–6
Horizon League
2001–02 Ed Schilling 17–11 8–6
2002–03 Ed Schilling 10–18 4–12
2003–04 Paul Biancardi 14–14 10–6
2004–05 Paul Biancardi 15–15 8–8
2005–06 Paul Biancardi 13–15 8–8
2006–07 Brad Brownell 23–10 13–3 NCAA 1st Round
2007–08 Brad Brownell 21–10 12–6
2008–09 Brad Brownell 20–13 12–6
2009–2010 Brad Brownell 20–12 12–6
2010–2011 Billy Donlon 19–14 10–8
2011–2012 Billy Donlon 13–19 7–11
2012–2013 Billy Donlon 21–12 10–6 CBI Semi-Finals
2013–2014 Billy Donlon 21–15 10–6 CIT 2nd Round
2014–2015 Billy Donlon 11–20 3–13
2015–2016 Billy Donlon 22–13 13–5

Record vs. Horizon League opponents[edit]

  • Cleveland State: 33–33
  • Detroit: 27–26
  • Green Bay: 25–30
  • Milwaukee: 26–28
  • Northern Kentucky: 21–7
  • Oakland: 8–6
  • UIC: 27–27
  • Valparaiso: 15–13
  • Youngstown State: 42–11

Gem City Jam[edit]

The Wright State and University of Dayton series is known as the Gem City Jam. The two universities are located in Dayton, Ohio, only 10 miles apart from each other. Although the two schools no longer compete in this rivalry, they still compete against each other in other sports. The series currently favors Dayton at 5–3. The last meeting was held at the University of Dayton on December 13, 1997, Dayton won 94–63.

Date Location Result
March 5, 1988 Dayton L 71–89
January 6, 1990 Dayton W 101–99
December 11, 1993 Dayton L 56–83
January 8, 1994 Wright State W 77–65
December 12, 1994 Wright State W 74–53
December 9, 1995 Dayton L 80–98
January 9, 1997 Wright State L 63–72
December 13, 1997 Dayton L 63–94

All-time statistical leaders[edit]

Career leaders[edit]

Points Scored: Bill Edwards 2,303
Assists: Mark Woods 744
Rebounds: Bill Edwards 907
Steals: Mark Woods 314

Single-season leaders[edit]

Points Scored: Bill Edwards 757 (1992)
Assists: Lenny Lyons 259 (1985)
Rebounds: Thad Burton 305 (1997)
Steals: Mark Woods 109 (1992)

Single-game leaders[edit]

Points Scored: Bill Edwards 45 (1992)
Assists: Lenny Lyons 15 (1986)
Rebounds: Thad Burton 22 (1997)
Steals: Mark Woods 8 (1992)


NCAA Division I Tournament history[edit]

In the Raiders 7th season as a DI program they defeated UIC in the Mid-Continent Conference championship game to make their first NCAA tournament appearance where they would face Indiana and lose 54–97. In 2007 Wright State made their second appearance in the NCAA tournament facing Pittsburgh and lose 58–79.

Date Seed Location Round Result Opponent
March 19, 1993 16 Indianapolis, Indiana First L 54–97 (1) Indiana
March 15, 2007 14 Buffalo, New York First L 58–79 (3) Pittsburgh

NCAA Tournament seeding history[edit]

The NCAA began seeding the tournament with the 1979 edition.

Years → 1993 2007
Seeds 16 14

NCAA Division II tournament results[edit]

The Raiders have appeared in the NCAA Division II Tournament eight times. Their combined record is 12–8. They were the 1983 National Champions.

Year Round Opponent Result
1976 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Saint Joseph's (IN)
L 75–85
W 72–68
1979 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Northern Michigan
Saint Joseph's (IN)
L 66–75
L 68–73
1980 Regional Semifinals
Regional 3rd Place Game
Eastern Illinois
Southern Indiana
L 63–74
W 88–85
1981 Regional Semifinals
Regional 3rd Place Game
Northern Michigan
Southern Indiana
L 69–70
W 96–89
1982 Regional Semifinals
Regional 3rd Place Game
Kentucky Wesleyan
L 71–76 OT
W 87–86
1983 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship
Kentucky Wesleyan
Cal State Bakersfield
District of Columbia
W 71–57
W 69–67
W 73–53
W 57–50
W 92–73
1985 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Kentucky Wesleyan
W 61–53
L 72–84
1986 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Kentucky Wesleyan
SIU Edwardsville
W 94–84
W 77–73
L 75–78

CBI results[edit]

The Raiders have appeared in one College Basketball Invitational (CBI). Their record is 2–1.

Year Round Opponent Result/Score
2013 First Round
Santa Clara
W 72–52
W 57–51
L 69–81

CIT results[edit]

The Raiders have appeared in one CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). Their record is 1–1

Year Round Opponent Result/Score
2014 First Round
Second Round
East Carolina
W 73–59
L 54–56

1982–83 NCAA DII National championship[edit]

Season Coach Opponent Score Site Overall Record
1982–83 Ralph Underhill District of Columbia 92–73 Springfield, MA 28–4
National Championships: 1
1982 NCAA DII Tournament Results
Round Opponent Score
Regional Semifinals Lewis 71–57
Regional Finals Kentucky Wesleyan 69–67
Quarterfinals Bloomsburg State 73–53
Final Four Cal State Bakersfield 57–50
Championship District of Columbia 92–73

Mid-Continent Conference and Horizon League championships[edit]

Tournament championships[edit]

Wright State has 2 conference tournament championships, most recently in 2007 under coach Brad Brownell. The first championship came in the 1992–93 season under Ralph Underhill. The Raiders have appeared in 4 Horizon League/Midwestern Collegiate championship games, most recently was in 2013 where they lost at Valparaiso 54–62. Wright State's first and only appearance in the Mid-Continent Conference championship game resulted in a 94–88 victory over UIC.

Season Coach Opponent Score Site Overall Record Conference Record Conference
1992–93 Ralph Underhill UIC 94–88 Dayton, OH 20–10 10–6 Mid-Continent
2006–07 Brad Brownell Butler 60–55 Dayton, OH 23–10 13–3 Horizon
Mid-Continent Conference Tournament Championships: 1
Horizon League Tournament Championships: 1

Regular season championships[edit]

Season Coach Overall Record Conference Record Conference
2006–07 Brad Brownell 23–10 13–3 Horizon
Regular season championships: 1



(*) Denotes Honorable Mention

Division II All-Americans[edit]

  • Bob Grote – 1976
  • Rodney Benson – 1981
  • Roman Welch – 1981
  • Gary Monroe – 1983
  • Fred Moore – 1984
  • Andy Warner – 1985
  • Grant Marion – 1986
  • Mark Vest – 1986

Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year[edit]

  • Bill Edwards – 1993

Horizon League Player of the Year[edit]

  • DaShaun Wood – 2007

Horizon League Coach of the Year[edit]

  • Paul Biancardi – 2004
  • Brad Brownell (co) – 2008
  • Billy Donlon – 2013

First-Team All-Mid-Continent Conference[edit]

  • Bill Edwards (1992, 1993)
  • Mark Woods (1993)
  • Mike Nahar (1994)

First-Team MCC/Horizon League[edit]

  • Vitaly Potapenko (1995, 1996)
  • Keion Brooks (1997, 1999)
  • Kevin Melson (2000, 2001)
  • Israel Sheinfeld (2000)
  • Seth Doliboa (2003, 2004)
  • DaShaun Wood (2006, 2007)
  • Vaughn Duggins (2008, 2011)

Raiders in the NBA[edit]

Two Wright State alumni have gone on to play in the NBA. They are:


  1. ^ "Wright State Athletics Logo". February 13, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Biancardi departs Wright State by 'mutual agreement'". Sports.espn.go.com. 2006-03-14. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 

External links[edit]