Women’s basketball coach strives for the best

Feb 28, 2019

Women’s basketball head coach Darin Spence has had many accomplishments on the court and recently reached a big milestone: his 100th win at Newman University.

Spence has been at Newman since April 2012 and is now the winningest coach in women’s basketball program history.

“It’s a big deal and maybe one day I will slow down enough to take it all in,” Spence said.

Spence has had a total of 556 total wins overall as a women’s head basketball coach at various colleges and universities.

Spence’s coaching career began immediately after graduating from Marymount College 34 years ago. He coached at the junior college level and won multiple championships, which allowed him to jump to an NCAA Division I school, New Mexico State, directly after — an almost unheard of career move.

“Early in my career, I was all over the place and way too driven on the win. Later on, in my life as a Christian, I see the bigger picture and it has allowed me greater peace and vision.”

His goals now are oriented toward building a great program rather than focusing on winning each game. His strategy has helped multiple former assistants of his to reach their goal of becoming a successful head coach as well as helped his players reach their personal goals. The basketball program at Newman University has also improved.

“I just keep working to build (the program) and take care of those who are in our program. The building process here at Newman has been a difficult one and a challenge for sure. We work hard daily to overcome various factors that play against us and have always just set out to take care of those in the program.

NCAA Women's Basketball Division II

Spence constantly drives those around him to keep improving and become better. He has sacrificed a lot, he said, to be so career driven and build basketball programs the way he has.

Spence warned, “I am not an easy coach to play for, as I am very demanding and strive to be better today than the day before. I follow the teaching of Jesus Christ and look to His words as my guide and direction.”

His team this year is young but has worked hard throughout the season to develop team chemistry — an overlooked talent for a team, said Spence. “This group has competed well in every game and has us in a position to finish in second place in the Heartland Conference,” he said.

They recently beat nationally ranked Lubbock Christian in a last-minute comeback game during Homecoming week.

During his time as head coach of the Newman women’s basketball program, Spence has been thankful for driven players and coaches who have gone above and beyond to meet their goals. He feels the level of competition and respect within the NCAA Divison II has been elevated because of their efforts.

“The good Lord has called me to this career path,” said Spence. “I have an opportunity to reach young women and help lead them to be a better person, a better student, a better player and more importantly to show them the way to Jesus Christ.” 

Follow the Jet’s journey on Twitter @NewmanUWBBJets