Men’s Basketball coach, John Henry, began his coaching career early in the 2001-2002 season and went on to earn a 2-23 record. A lot has changed since then.
Sixteen seasons later and Henry has completely changed the program and built a national powerhouse that is consistently ranked in the Top 25. Henry has reconstructed the program from the ground up and picked up over 320 wins along the way, enough to make him the winningest coach in program history, something Henry never thought would happen.
Early on in his coaching career, things were not going too well, in fact the team was not even able to pick up one conference victory in Henry’s inaugural campaign. The first couple years of his coaching career were trial and error and Henry says that it was something that he pushed through and just tried to get better. He regrets the mentality he had then, “I wish I would have enjoyed the building, it was a lot of fun that I didn’t take the time to enjoy.”
A lot has changed in the last 16 seasons, however. Statesmen Men’s Basketball had been struggling for quite some time and in only his fourth season, Henry was able to lead the Statesmen to their first winning season since 1987 going 20-15.
Since then, the ball has been rolling. Henry has led the team to winning both the conference championship and conference tournament championship five times and most notably placing 2nd at the NAIA National Championships during the ’13-14’ season.
Over the years the program has been completely revitalized, though Henry is quick to say he does not deserve all the credit for the turn around. Like many other great coaches at the collegiate level, Henry recognizes that the talent of the players he is able to recruit is a massive part of this success, not just his coaching ability. He also cites the “incredible” staff of assistant coaches he has had over the years for contributing to the program in an integral way.
Both past and current players as well as assistants have all been extremely important to Henry during his coaching career; but he says no one sacrifices quite as much as his family. In Henry’s family, William Penn basketball is not a choice or a thought, it is a priority. His family attends every single game possible and is always willing to drop what they are doing and come cheer on the Statesmen. For Henry to have found so much success already throughout his coaching career, it obviously took a great supporting cast in his wife and children.
Collectively, it has been a wild ride for Henry that will continue for many years to come. For now, Coach is just enjoying his job and the process that goes with it, “I am happy I have a great job at a great place that allows me to coach the kinds of kids I want to coach. I’ve never dreaded a day in 16 years, and I’m blessed.”