Scott Nagy returns for his 18th season at South Dakota State
after guiding the Jackrabbits to the NCAA Tournament for the first time at the
Division I level last season, after doing so eight times in Division II.
Nagy enters the 2012-13 season after a 2011-12 season filled
with milestones, both personal and team related. The milestones started with a
92-73 win at Washington on Dec. 18, continued when he won his 300th career game
10 days later at Frost Arena and rolled through The Summit League
Championships, when the Jacks tied a school record with 27 wins and earned a
chance to dance for the first time in Division I.
In his 17 years at SDSU, Nagy guided the Jackrabbits through
the transition from Division II to Division I, built an impressive 316-198
record (.615 winning percentage) at the Division I and Division II levels, and
guided the Jacks to North Central Conference championships in 1996, 1997, 1998
and 2002, adding a Summit League Tournament title in 2012.
Nagy also directed the Jacks to the NCAA Regional Tournament
from 1996-1998 and from 2000-2004 and led the Jacks to the Elite Eight
tournament in 1997.
Coach Nagy's Jackrabbits hosted the North Central Regional
Tournament in 1997, 1998 and 2000.
Nagy earned North Central Conference Coach of the Year five
times in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2003.
Before he ever made his mark coaching though, Nagy made a
name for himself on the basketball court, as a standout athlete at Delta State
University in Cleveland, Miss.
A year after graduating from Centennial High School in
Champaign, Ill., Nagy led the Statesman to a second place finish in the league
and a berth in the NCAA Tournament with a 20-11 record, earning him Gulf South
Conference Freshman of the Year honors.
A year later, DSU won the conference title and advanced to
the NCAA Tournament with a 23-8 record.
The Statesmen finished second in the Gulf South in Nagy's
junior year, but they still advanced to the NCAA Tournament, and eventually to
the Final Four with a 24-9 overall record.
Delta State did not make the tournament in Nagy's senior
year, but he still garnered Gulf South Conference Athlete of the Year honors in
Adding to his accomplishments on the court, Nagy also
excelled in the classroom, earning Gulf South all-academic honors for three
Nagy still holds the Delta State record for games played in
a career with 122, career assists with 549, assists in a season with 234 and
assists in a game with 15, which he did twice.
Nagy's skills on and off the court earned him an induction
into the Delta State Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
Upon graduating from Delta State with a degree in business
administration in 1988, Nagy embarked on his coaching career, which started
with two seasons as a graduate assistant at the University of Illinois under
head coach Lou Henson.
In Nagy's two seasons in Champaign, Illinois advanced to the
NCAA tournament twice, including a trip to the Final Four in 1989. On top of
that, his two years at Illinois gave Nagy the opportunity to coach along side
of his dad Dick, a longtime Illinois assistant.
Nagy earned his master's degree in physical education from
Illinois in 1990, and then came to South Dakota State as an assistant coach
under head coach Jim Thorson from 1990-93.
In his first year on the SDSU bench, the Jackrabbits won the
NCC post-season tournament title, the second year they won the NCC regular
season title and in all three years the Jacks advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Nagy left South Dakota State in 1993 to take a job as an
assistant under head coach Jack Margenthaler at Southern Illinois
University-Edwardsville for two seasons before coming back to Brookings in 1995
as the Jackrabbits 20th head coach.
Just 29 years old when he took over the program, Nagy
started his winning ways in his first season on the job, when he led the Jacks
to the NCC title and to a second place finish at the region tournament. In his
first season as a head coach on any level, Nagy earned NCC Coach of the Year
honors, as the Jacks finished the season with a 24-5 record.
Things only got better in year two, when Nagy guided the
Jackrabbits to an 86-74 win over defending national champion Fort Hays State in
the regional tournament, earning the Jackrabbits a trip to the Elite Eight
Tournament in Springfield, Mass. The Jacks finished the season with a 25-5 record,
and for the second time in as many years, The NCC named Nagy its Coach of the
Nagy's Jackrabbits jumped out to a 21-0 start and a number
one rank in the country to start year three, as SDSU cruised to its third
straight NCC title and second place finish at the region tournament. Nagy also
took home NCC Coach of the Year honors for the third straight year and tied a
school record for wins with 26.
By coach Nagy's standards, the 1998-99 season represents a
lean year, as the Jacks finished 17-10, his only double-digit loss season in
After just one year out of postseason play, Nagy led his
team back to the NCAA Regional Tournament in the next two years with a combined
record of 43-16 and picked up his 100th career win on Dec. 14, 1999, in a 69-52
win over Dakota Wesleyan.
Nagy earned NCC Coach of the Year honors for a fourth time
in 2002, when he led the Jackrabbits to a 15-1 start against NCC foes.
SDSU went on to win the regular and postseason conference
titles, but finished second in the regional tournament, losing to the eventual
national champion Metropolitan State.
Injuries plagued the Jacks in 2003, but Nagy rallied the
team to a 24-7 season. They finished second in the NCC, qualified for the
region tournament and Nagy earned NCC Coach of the Year honors for a fifth
time, becoming the first coach in conference history win the award without
winning the regular season title.
In the final year of Division II competition, Nagy lead the
Jackrabbits to a 17-0 start and a second place finish in the NCC.
The Jackrabbits advanced to the regional tournament, where
the season eventually ended with a school record 27 wins.
Nagy also won his 200th game in 2004, a 92-79 win over South
Dakota in the Jacks last game against the Coyotes in Frost Arena, and he did it
in front of 8,489 fans.
The all-time leader in men's basketball coaching victories
at SDSU, when the Jacks left NCAA Division II, Nagy ranked second among active
D-II coaches at with a .781 winning percentage.
Eight previous 20-win seasons proved that Nagy wins games,
and despite four 20-loss seasons in a tumultuous transition to Division I, he
led the Jackrabbits to the top with a record-breaking 2011-12 season at the top
of The Summit League.