Augustana turns to Batavia grad to lead basketball program

  • Steve Schafer, a 1997 Batavia graduate, is the new men's basketball coach at Augustana College.

    Steve Schafer, a 1997 Batavia graduate, is the new men's basketball coach at Augustana College. Courtesy of Augustana College

  • Marmion graduate Jimmy Morton is playing this week at the 120th annual North and South Amateur Golf Championship.

    Marmion graduate Jimmy Morton is playing this week at the 120th annual North and South Amateur Golf Championship. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 7/2/2020 8:40 PM

Batavia graduate Steve Schafer is the new men's basketball coach at Augustana College.

Schafer, a 2001 graduate from Augustana, is the school's 16th men's basketball coach. He replaces Grey Giovanine, who retired after compiling a record of 433-150 in 21 seasons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I am elated to be back home where it began for me 20 years ago," said Schafer, who was recruited to Augustana by Steve Yount, the coach who preceded Giovanine, in 1997.

A tremendous player at Batavia, he was a three-year varsity player who helped the Bulldogs compile a 68-18 overall record under coach Jim Roberts. Twice he was a first-team all-conference performer.

Schafer was a member of the Augustana men's basketball team from 1997 through 2000 but his playing time was limited by injuries. He served as a student assistant in his senior year of 2000-01.

Schafer will be leading a Vikings basketball program over the last six years has averaged nearly 25 wins per season, won five CCIW titles and made five trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament, including national runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2017.

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Schafer comes to Augustana after a five-year stint as the head men's basketball coach and director of athletics at Benedictine-Mesa University in Arizona. He started Benedictine-Mesa's athletic program from scratch in 2014 when he was hired. He took the department from 8 club sports in 2014-15 to its present 13 varsity programs.

Prior to that, Schafer was the head coach at Fontbonne University in St. Louis. He also spent two years as an assistant coach/athletic recruiting coordinator at Benedictine in Lisle from 2009-11 and was an assistant coach at North Park (2004-09) and Wayne State (2001-04).

Marmion grad selected for national tourney

Illinois Wesleyan rising junior Jimmy Morton (Marmion Academy) is competing in the 120th Annual North and South Amateur Golf Championship at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club that started Tuesday and runs through Saturday. Morton earned an invitation due to his Golfstat end of season rankings.

One of the longest running national amateur championships in America, having been played every year since 1901, the North and South 120-man field is composed of the elite of the elite in amateur golf. Participants are chosen based upon their performance in national amateur championships and overall competitive record.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Morton finished the season slotted No. 10 in the Division III Golfstat rankings. He racked up four top-10 finishes, highlighted by a pair of third-place finishes. Morton tied for third at the prestigious Gordin Collegiate Classic, before claiming third outright at the Division I Orlando Invitational.

Kaneland grad an academic whiz

Lewis University's Allison Heinzer, a Kaneland graduate from Sugar Grove, has been selected as the Great Lakes Valley Conference winter/spring sports Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women's track and field.

The USTFCCCA awarded her All-Midwest Region and All-America status in the 200-meter, 400-meter and 1,600 relay after she became GLVC champion in the 200 and 1,600 relay and was runner-up in the 400. Her times qualified for the 2020 NCAA Indoor Track & Field championships.

As a special/elementary education major, she finished the year with a 3.75 cumulative GPA thanks to a 3.91 semester mark. Her efforts in the classroom garnered her an Academic All-GLVC nod.

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