Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 23, 2007) - John Brown University’s head men’s basketball coach, John Sheehy, has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the 2006-07 basketball season.
Sheehy, who in his 18th season (1989-2007) with the Golden Eagle program, is currently the longest active college coach in the state of Arkansas. He is the all-time winningest coach in JBU history with 313 wins and has accumulated 536 college career coaching wins.
During his time with John Brown, Sheehy has taken the Golden Eagle program from being a struggling independent to becoming the first university in the state to win a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I title, a feat he accomplished in 2005. In 1991, Sheehy also won the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Championship while posting a school record 25 wins.
“Coach John Sheehy has run an excellent, mission-focused basketball program for JBU for the past eighteen years,” said John Brown University President, Dr. Charles W. Pollard. “His teams have won many games, including two national championships, which is a measure of his success, but, as important, his success is measured by the hundreds of young men who have been shaped by his influence. We will dearly miss his leadership on our campus and we wish him all God's blessings.”
“A definite hole will be left in our athletic staff,” added Athletic Director Robyn Gordon. “We appreciate all he has given throughout these last eighteen years and we will definitely miss him.”
Under Sheehy’s leadership, JBU has seen 15 players earn All-Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) honors, and nine players receive NAIA honors. Sheehy also earned the SAC Co-Coach of the Year honor in 2006.
“It has been an awesome opportunity and blessing to have been apart of John Brown University these eighteen years. Along with my family, JBU basketball has been an important part of our lives and we have many fond memories that will always be with us,” stated Sheehy. “My wife and I would like to personally thank the administration, faculty, staff and fans for their continued support and for making Murray Sells a great atmosphere for our games. Also, I have appreciated working alongside the outstanding people who have served as assistant coaches, players, managers and trainers and their contributions in making this a special time for us. We will sincerely miss being an active part of the JBU basketball family.”
Sheehy, who is well respected throughout the college coaching circle, began his head coaching career at Puxico High School (Mo.) in 1971, followed by a one year stint at Liberty High School in Mountain View, Mo. Sheehy moved to the college ranks as head coach at Williams Baptist (Ark.), formerly Southern Baptist Junior College, in 1974 and stayed in that position until 1980. From there, he shifted to Truett McConnell Junior College (Ga.) for the 1981 and 1982 campaigns. Sheehy then traveled west to Howard Payne University (Tex.), where he was an assistant for eighteen months before taking over the reins in the middle of the 1983-84 season. He remained with Howard Payne until coming to John Brown in 1989.
Currently, Sheehy’s squad is 16-12 and 7-9 in the SAC standings and fighting to earn a fifth consecutive trip to the NAIA National Tournament in March.
A short ceremony honoring Coach Sheehy will take place following the men’s 3 p.m. game against St. Gregory’s (Okla.) on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Murray Sells Gymnasium. However, Coach Sheehy will be available for comment per request. For more information contact JBU Sports Information Director, Simeon Hinsey, at (479) 524-7304 or email email@example.com.