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The Antelope

Levinson introduced as new head men’s basketball coach

Marty Levinson was officially introduced as the new men’s basketball coach Friday morning. Photo by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff

After a monthslong search, UNK has hired their next men’s basketball coach. Marty Levinson, a former Loper who was the head coach at Trinity Valley Community College this past season, was announced as the head coach Tuesday.

“UNK has always been a place where the top Nebraska kids from Scottsbluff to Omaha could come play and have their family and friends share the experience,” Levison said in the school’s press release. “I want those players to be excited and proud to put Lopers across their chest and know that they represent themselves, their families, the local community as well as a lot of great players that paved the way before them.”

Levinson played at UNK from 2003-05, earning second team RMAC honors in 2005. He also coached at the junior college level for 17 years, including a stint as UNK’s graduate assistant from 2009-2011 when the team was co-head coached by Tom Kropp and Kevin Lofton.

“During the search, it became more evident that Coach Levinson was the best fit for our program because of his connections on campus, in the community, across the state, and with the alumni,” UNK athletic director Marc Bauer said. “Although challenging, I fully expect him to come in, get after it, and achieve great things at UNK.”

This past year with Trinity Valley CC, the Cardinals had a record of 27-8, and won the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 14 Championship over Lee College, 87-72. At the NJCAA National Tournament, the Cardinals won in their first game against Georgia Highlands College, 61-54, before falling to the eventual runner-up Triton College, 105-87.

Before his lone season at TVCC, he built the program at junior college Southern Arkansas University Tech from scratch. During his six seasons with the Rockets, he had a record of 94-52, leading the Rockets to a 20-5 record in his final season there and a seventh place finish in the NJCAA division 2 national tournament.

The UNK men’s head coaching position is the third opening from the conference this year, with two head coaches jumping for the Division I ranks. Emporia State’s Craig Doty left the Hornets after six years for Houston Christian. Emporia State hired Augustana’s Tom Billeter to replace him last week. Earlier this week, Northwest Missouri State’s Ben McCollum left a storied career with the Bearcats to become the head coach at Drake.

Levinson replaces Kevin Lofton, who resigned after one game this season on November 17. The Lopers went 5-22 this season, and had a 2-20 record in the MIAA. The Lopers last made the MIAA tournament in the 2019-20 season, where they lost to Pitt State, 79-76, in overtime of the opening round.

Listen to KLPR sports director Jon Willis’s interview with coach Levinson from earlier this week:

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