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Amherst College > Athletics > Men's Basketball > Jeffs Nab Slew of NESCAC Postseason Awards
   
Head Coach Dave Hixon '75
Hixon is the winningest coach in school history, the 10th winningest active Division III coach in the nation and the 19th winningest coach in NCAA Division III history (by total wins, as listed in the 2005 NCAA Record Book).

Jeffs Nab Slew of NESCAC Postseason Awards

March 3, 2005

AMHERST, MA - Amherst College’s Dave Hixon ’75 was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year (as selected by the conference’s head coaches) on Thursday, while senior co-captain forward Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) was voted the conference Player of the Year and first-year point guard Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) shared NESCAC Co-Rookie of the Year honors with Conn. College center Charles Stone. Amherst junior guard John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) joined Schiel as a First-Team All-NESCAC selection as well.

Hixon has guided Amherst to a 25-1 start and a No. 2 national ranking on the strength of the team’s current school-record 18 game winning streak. The Jeffs swept all nine games during the NESCAC regular season, finished a perfect 4-0 in Little Three play (between Amherst, Williams and Wesleyan) and downed Bowdoin, Trinity and Bates in the conference tournament for their third NESCAC Championship in the last five years.

“This honor is very well deserved,” says Amherst athletic director Peter Gooding. “Our men’s basketball program is in many ways a model for how one would like a program to be. They overachieve, they work hard and they’re a very good group of young men. It’s a very fitting tribute to Coach Hixon and his staff.”

As the winningest coach in school history, the 10th winningest active Division III coach in the nation and the 19th winningest coach in NCAA Division III history (by total wins, as listed in the 2005 NCAA Record Book), Hixon has guided the Jeffs to a 491-214 overall record, eight NCAA Tournaments, 13 Little Three titles and a trio of NESCAC Championships. He is the reigning New England Basketball Coaches Association (NEBCA) Division III and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Northeast Region Coach of the Year and was honored as the NESCAC Coach of the Year for the first time in 2001. Hixon and his father, former Andover High School coaching legend Wil Hixon, were inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Schiel, an Honorable Mention All-America as a junior and a Preseason All-America this year, earned All-NESCAC honors for the second straight season. He was recently named one of ten finalists for the Jostens Trophy, awarded annually to the NCAA Division III national player of the year, and currently stands among the conference and/or national leaders in a variety of statistical categories, including scoring (17.0 ppg), field goal percentage (58.0%), free throw percentage (74.5%), three-point field goal percentage (36.7%) and blocked shots (1.92/gm). He was named the NESCAC Player of the Week on Monday after averaging team-highs of 21.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in a pair of NESCAC Tournament wins over Trinity and Bates.

With 1,372 career points (and counting), Schiel is the college’s eighth all-time leading scorer. Along with fellow seniors Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY) and Russell Lee (Lorton, VA), he’s helped lead the Jeffs to a school-record 98 wins over four seasons, advancing to the NCAA round of 16 as first-years, the national quarterfinals as sophomores and the program’s first-ever NCAA Final Four appearance last season.

Olson has been nothing short of spectacular since taking over for the injured Corrigan in the third game of the season, leading all conference rookies in both assists (4.19/gm) and assist/turnover ratio (2.60). He poured in a career-high 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting in the Jeffs’ NESCAC Tournament semifinal win over Trinity and dished out a whopping 10 assists in a 90-78 win over visiting Lasell.

Like Schiel, Bedford stands among the conference statistical leaders in a bevy of categories, including scoring (15.0 ppg), field goal percentage (50.2%), free throw percentage (76.4%) and three-point field goal percentage (39.7%). He’s scored in double figures in 23 of Amherst’s 26 games this season, including a string of 16 straight through the conclusion of the NESCAC Tournament.

Amherst drew one of 16 first-round byes in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, for which pairings were announced late Sunday evening. Amherst, the lone NESCAC school to make the 48-team field, will host an NCAA second-round game this Saturday at 7 p.m. against the winner of tonight’s first-round matchup between Springfield College and Norwich University. A win on Saturday could conceivably make Amherst the host site for sectional play as well.