Ottawa University men’s head basketball coach Aaron Siebenthall has been named the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association College Four-Year Men’s College “Coach of the Year” for the 2019-20 season.
“I am extremely honored to be receiving this award from the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association,” Siebenthall said. “While this award may have my name on it, this award is a reflection of the hard work of many. I would like to recognize the efforts of my two assistants, Phil McClintock and Jamie Batish. Their dedication and loyalty to our program is exemplary. Next, I would like to thank our eight seniors. They all had different roles and attacked their role everyday with energy, effort, and enthusiasm. Our administration and support staff always put our student-athletes first while allowing me to run a first-class program. I want thank our chancellor, president, and athletic director for their faith in me and my vision for the program. Last but certainly not least I want to thank my wife, Shayla, and our two daughters, Berkley and LJ. They put up with me being gone a lot but are always my biggest cheerleaders, win or lose.”
Siebenthall led the Braves in a school record season. Ottawa compiled an overall record of 28-6 and a KCAC record of 19-5. The 28 overall and 19 conference victories are single-season school records. OU won the KCAC regular season championship, finished with a No. 5 ranking in NAIA Division II, and qualified for the Round of 16 at the NAIA Division II National Tournament. Siebenthall was also named Coach of the Year by his KCAC peers.
Ottawa rallied from a double-digit deficit to defeat Columbia, Neb., in the final NAIA national tourney game before it was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.
Siebenthall has coached the OU men’s basketball team since the 2015-16 season after spending nine years as a Braves assistant coach under former head coach Andy Carrier.
“I could not be more proud of coach Siebenthall for the way he has led this program to unprecedented heights and success,” Carrier said. “I am not surprised he has had this success. He does things the right way and with class. I also know this is a team honor, so I congratulate coach McClintock and all assistants, managers and certainly the players. It’s well-earned and a very deserving and a prestigious honor”
It is the third time that an Ottawa head coach has received the KBCA award. Carrier won the award in 1994-95 and 2008-09.