Friday, November 28, 2014

Record win for OU's Carrier

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 2/22/2014

The wins and losses come as the seasons mount up. Ottawa University men’s basketball coach Andy Carrier means more to the Braves than the outcomes of games.

His way of dealing with people and situations stick out in his 24 years at Ottawa.

The wins and losses come as the seasons mount up. Ottawa University men’s basketball coach Andy Carrier means more to the Braves than the outcomes of games.

His way of dealing with people and situations stick out in his 24 years at Ottawa.

“He is a great ambassador for this university and the men’s basketball program,” Ottawa assistant men’s basketball coach Aaron Siebenthall said. “He has never wavered in what he does and how we do things. He has found a way to be positive. How to deal with stressful situations and how to come out on top.

“He is a great mentor and great friend.”

Carrier became the all-time winningest coach in school history Thursday when the Braves clubbed Southwestern, 84-63, in Wilson Field House. It was his 310th win.

“It is good to see one of your coaching mentors accomplish such a feat,” Ottawa women’s basketball coach Bruce Tate said. “He does things old school. It is a huge ladder for him to climb.”

Carrier said a collection of people through the years is the reason behind the success.

“I have been so blessed to be at Ottawa this long,” he said. “All the great assistant coaches I have had. All the great players that have come through Ottawa University. This is a real tribute to them. It has been a good run. It is meaningful.

“We have really ran a consistently competitive program. We have had our share of championships. I am proud of the caliber of student-athletes we have had here, the graduation rate and the Academic All-Americans. The success they are having as family men and professionals now. That gives me a more of a sense of pride than 310.”

Carrier is not your typical basketball coach. He has been an administrator as athletic director, dean of students and enrollment director. He also is an associate professor and has taught in the physical education department and liberal arts studies.

“He is our history book,” Tate said. “I have had this guy for class. He challenged me in class. He brought me into coaching. He is now a co-worker I can lean on. He is a good friend.”

Siebenthall said Carrier means more to Ottawa than what is on the surface.

“The wins are great, but what he has done for this university with all the hats he has worn,” he said. “He has taught me so much in how to run a program and how to deal with people in certain situations that might be a little hectic. I can’t think of a better person I would like to coach under than coach Carrier.”

Senior Colby Regier said Carrier is more than a mentor.

“He is someone that cares for you like a parent,” Regier said. “He will be there to protect you. That is invaluable. He has treated me great.

“It is his program. It is his gym. He has done so much. The all-time wins [record] is just icing on the cake.”

Carrier doesn’t stray away from his principles and beliefs. Even in a runaway victory, he was coaching to the end.

“It is a game of habits,” he said. “If you start losing your focus and start doing crazy things in the last two minutes, you may do something stupid in a one- or two- or four-point game on Saturday. You  have to have the discipline to stay the course. Trust each other and trust our stuff.”

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