Aaron Jennings, a 6-foot-11 mountain of a man with a teddy-bear heart, dissolved in tears Sunday night as he talked about coaching the Mount Mercy men's basketball team this season under unusual circumstances and winning the conference title.
Jennings, who hails from Atkins and Benton Community High School, enjoyed a modest college basketball career at Northwestern, but the Wildcats never played in any NCAA or NIT tournaments during his four years in the Big Ten.
He's done much better as a coach.
Jennings led the Mount Mercy women's basketball team to the Elite 8 of the NAIA national tournament in 2012 and now he's taking the men's team to the NAIA nationals after winning the Association of Independent Institutions title with a 74-61 victory over York (Neb.) at the U.S. Cellular Center.
"I've always said, I hope I'm a better coach than I was a basketball player," he said with a big smile after the Mustangs won three games in three days with some exciting basketball in downtown Cedar Rapids.
"I understand what losing is," he said, starting to get emotional. "I always want to prepare my team the best way I know how.Last Updated on Sunday, 28 February 2016 22:08