Harper (left) led the NESCAC in steals for the third straight season, while Hixon coached the Jeffs to their first-ever NCAA Final Four.
Harper Tabbed NABC First-Team All-Northeast, Hixon Named Northeast Region Coach of the Year
March 30, 2004
AMHERST, MA - After leading the Jeffs to their first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Final Four in Salem, Virginia, Amherst College senior tri-captain Adam Harper (Washington, DC) was named First-Team All-Northeast Region by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), while Amherst head coach David Hixon ’75 was named Northeast Region Coach of the Year.
The two-time New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Defensive Player of the Year and a First-Team All-NESCAC selection, Harper graduates as Amherst’s career leader in steals (321) and finishes 10th on the college’s all-time scoring list (1,228 pts). Along with fellow seniors Tim Jones (Richmond, VA), John Donovan (Holmdel, NJ) and Don Quinn (Princeton, NJ), Harper led the Jeffs to a school-record 95 wins over four season, including a best-ever 27-5 mark in 2003-04. He led the NESCAC in steals for three straight seasons, earning Second-Team All-NESCAC honors as a junior and NCAA All-Sectional honors as a sophomore.
Hixon had perhaps his best season ever in 27 years as head coach, overcoming the graduation of three of the best players in school history, including all-time leading scorer Steve Zieja ’03, to lead the Jeffs where they’d never been before - the NCAA Division III Final Four.
"This is a truly deserved award," said Amherst athletic director Peter Gooding, "for a coach who has given many years of great service to both the game of basketball and Amherst College students."
With a school-record 27 wins, Hixon upped his career record to 466-213, making him the 14th winningest active Division III coach in the nation and the 25th winningest coach in NCAA Division III history (by total wins, as listed in the 2004 NCAA Record Book). He’s led the Jeffs to seven NCAA Tournaments since 1993-94 (the college’s first year of tournament eligibility), advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals in both 1994 and 2003 before earning the college's first-ever trip to the NCAA Final Four in 2004. In 2001, Hixon was honored as the NESCAC Coach of the Year after leading the Jeffs to a 22-6 overall mark, tying the school record for single-season victories, which the Jeffs subsequently shattered with 24 victories in 2002-03 and 27 wins in 2003-04. He and his father, former Andover High School coaching legend Wil Hixon, were inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in September, 2003.
2003-04 NABC Men’s Basketball Division III All-Northeast Region Team
Ben Coffin* (Williams College)
Michael Crotty (Williams College)
Adam Harper (Amherst College)
Marvin Evans (W. Conn. State University)
Bobby Michalczyk (Salem State College)
Tyler Rhoten (Trinity College (CT) )
Rob Hennigan (Emerson College)
Chris Timson (Keene State College)
Andrew St. Clair (Colby Sawyer College)
Kanem Johnson (Wesleyan University)
Nick Pelotte (Plymouth State College)
Coach of the Year
David Hixon (Amherst College)
*Player of the Year