Scott Spinner, who built the men’s basketball program at Lindenwood University-Belleville from scratch, resigned from the post he defined Wednesday.
The 31-year-old said his tenure ended immediately following the Lynx’s upset win over No. 19-ranked William Woods on Tuesday. He told his team of his decision in the locker room following the game, citing only non-health-related “personal reasons.”
“I’ve loved my days at Lindenwood-Belleville, and I’ve loved my players, which is what made this decision so hard,” said Spinner, a graduate of Desmet Jesuit High School in Creve Coeur, Mo. “They told me they’d pray for me and my family, and I told them I loved them and would be watching them from afar. This group has a chance to do some big things.”
Spinner performed double duty as as both athletic director and head basketball coach from the program’s inception until last spring when he resigned from his AD duties to focus solely on coaching.
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I’ll always be grateful to Lindenwood-Belleville for giving a 23-year old the opportunity to start, not just a basketball program, but an entire athletic department. That’s an opportunity most young guys don’t get.
Scott Spinner, former LU-B athletic director and men’s basketball coach
It was Spinner who brought notoriety to the fledgling Belleville campus with bold renovations to historic Township Stadium that included installation of a maroon-and-gray striped football field.
“I’ll always be grateful to Lindenwood-Belleville for giving a 23-year-old the opportunity to start, not just a basketball program, but an entire athletic department,” he said. “That’s an opportunity most young guys don’t get. I have learned a lot.”
Spinner got the basketball program off the ground in time for the 2010 season and has since totaled 127 victories against 84 losses.
The Lynx have made three trips to the USCAA National Championships and one trip to the NAIA National Tournament during Spinner’s tenure. He also has coached seven USCAA All-Americans and three NAIA All-Americans.
The Lynx are off to an 11-3 start to the 2016-17 season with 15 regular-season games remaining.
LU-B Athletic Director Ryan Kaiser has tabbed assistant Curtis Wilkerson as the interim head coach. He will lead the Lynx in this Saturday’s game at Park University.
Scott has given the Lindenwood University-Belleville program 100 percent of himself since his arrival and for that, we are grateful.
Ryan Kaiser, LU-B athletic director
“Coach Wilkerson has been with me from the very beginning and I’m happy that he’s getting this opportunity,” Spinner said. “Knowing that he was there to step in made my decision a little easier.”
Kaiser stepped in as the university’s athletic director in September of last year and went straight to work reshaping the the LU-B athletic program by firing football coach Dale Carlson after his second full season. The Lynx finished the football season without a win in 10 games.
Through a media release, Kaiser praised Spinner’s work and dedication to the university.
“Decisions such as the one Scott has made are difficult and not without much soul searching,” Director of Athletics Ryan Kaiser said. “I respect his decision and I thank Scott and his family for their commitment, sacrifice, and hard work. Scott has given the Lindenwood University-Belleville program 100 percent of himself since his arrival and for that, we are grateful.”
A national search for a permanent head basketball coach will open at the end of the season.