STEVE ECK FILE AT HUTCHINSON
ECK'S JUNIOR COLLEGE RECORDS
|Butler County CC||1996-99||80-22|
ALL-TIME ECK RECORDS
|Jardine Jr High, Wichita||1978-86||101-19|
|Wichita South HS||1986-96||227-15|
Steve Eck, a Reno County native, became the 14th coach in the storied history of Blue Dragon basketball on March 18, 2009.
With Hutchinson’s 2018 NJCAA Tournament opening-round victory over Cape Fear, Eck surpassed Charles Sesher as the storied program’s all-time leader in coaching victories.
Hutchinson is Eck’s fourth junior college head coaching position. He is now 286-61 at Hutchinson. His .824 winning percentage with the Blue Dragons is second-best in program history. He became the ninth Blue Dragon head coach to lead the storied junior college program into the NJCAA Tournament and has done so now five times in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 – finishing as national runner up in 2016 and winning the 2017 NJCAA National Championship.
Eck has an overall junior college coaching record of 608-113 over 19 seasons. His overall coaching record is 939-147 in his 40th year of coaching at all levels.
Added to Eck’s resume are back-to-back Jayhawk Conference championships in 2016 and 2017 and a pair of Region VI titles in 2013 and 2015.
Hutchinson’s 2017 national championship was the program’s third and sixth national title game appearance. Shakur Juiston was the unquestioned team leader earning NJCAA and NABC National Player of the Year awards, Region VI Tournament and NJCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player awards as well as Jayhawk West and Region VI MVP awards and first-team all-conference, all-region and All-America honors.
Samajae Haynes-Jones was a second-team All-American in 2017 as the Blue Dragons amassed a 35-2 record and dominated the Jayhawk Conference with a 26-1 mark.
Hutch’s 2013 Region VI championship, the program’s first in 16 seasons, was Eck’s first in his fifth attempt. He’d been to nationals twice before, but never as a head coach of a Kansas community college, until 2013. In addition to the 2013 team’s gaudy team numbers, this Blue Dragon team also pulled in the individual hardware.
Guard Kadeem Allen (2012-14) was a two-time NJCAA All-American and last season was named both the NJCAA and NABC National Player of the Year.
Allen and A.J. Spencer were first-team all-Jayhawk West and Region VI in 2013. Alex Davis, who set both the career and season blocked shots records, was second-team all-Jayhawk West and All-Region. Davis was also the Region VI Tournament MVP.
In 2015, Eck led HCC to a 73-61 second-round national victory over No. 4 Trinity Valley, Hutchinson’s first winners’ bracket victory in the national tournament since winning the 1994 national championship game. Freshman Bashir Ahmed earned NJCAA All-America honorable mention honors and DeShawn Freeman captured Region VI Tournament MVP honors in leading the Blue Dragons to a 20th all-time Region VI championship and 18th overall appearance in the NJCAA Tournament.
Hutchinson made it back-to-back trips to the national tournament since 1971-73, but didn’t win the Region VI title to do so. By virtue of winning the program’s first Jayhawk Conference championship since 2004, HCC earned a zone bid and took full advantage of the opportunity. HCC earned an opening-round bye and then defeated Moberly (84-74), No. 2 Northwest Florida State (116-90) and Ranger College (84-81 in overtime) to reach the program’s fifth national championship game. The Blue Dragons fell short in that title game, 74-64 to Salt Lake.
Ahmed was named the Jayhawk Conference’s Most Valuable Player. He was also a first-team NJCAA All-American. The 2015-16 Blue Dragons finished with a record of 32-5.
When the 2017-18 Blue Dragons earned an at-large bid to the NJCAA Tournament, that was another first for Blue Dragon men’s basketball with four-straight tournament appearances.
The 2010-11 Blue Dragons got off to a sizzling start, winning 17 straight to open the season and attaining the program’s first No. 1 national ranking in the NJCAA poll since 1993. The Blue Dragons finished second in the Jayhawk West and advanced all the way to the Region VI Tournament semifinals, finishing the season at 26-7. Sophomore Joe Mitchell closed a stellar HCC career, climbing to No. 7 on the Blue Dragon career scoring list. Mitchell became Eck’s first Blue Dragon All-American, earning honorable mention honors. Four members of the 2011 Blue Dragons moved onto Division I basketball programs.
Eck became the 13th-straight Blue Dragon head coach to win 20 games in his first season. The 2009-10 Blue Dragons finished 27-6, finished second in the Jayhawk West with a 12-4 record and advanced to the Region VI semifinals for the first time since 2004. The Blue Dragons were ranked as high as No. 8 in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Poll last season.
Eck came to Hutchinson after a highly successful two-year run at Cowley College, where he produced a 60-8 overall record, one outright Jayhawk East championship, one shared East title and two berths in the Region VI championship game.
After a successful 10-year run at Wichita South High School where he won six Class 6A state championships, Eck entered the college coaching ranks at Butler County Community College in 1996. Eck went 80-22 in three seasons with the Grizzlies, going to the Region VI championship game twice. Eck’s 1997 team was ranked No. 1 in the nation for eight weeks. He had three first-team All-Americans and two conference players of the year.
Eck was then an assistant for one season each at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Newman University before returning to the juco ranks as a head coach at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla.
In his first season at Redlands, Eck’s team won the NJCAA Division II national championship, going 30-5. One year later, Redlands moved up to Division I.
The 2003 Redlands team went 32-3 and qualified for the NJCAA Tournament. In 2004, Redlands advanced all the way to the NJCAA Tournament championship game, losing to powerful Southeastern Iowa in the title game.
Eck spent six seasons at Redlands, amassing a 182-22 record. Redlands reached the Region II title game in 5 of 6 seasons. Even as impressive as the performance on the court was Redlands’ players’ performance in the classroom. In four of his six seasons at Redlands, Eck’s teams had aggregate team grade-point averages of 3.40 or higher. Every sophomore under Eck’s tutelage graduated and moved on to the next level.
At Cowley, Eck’s teams set a school record for wins in a season (31) and highest winning percentage (.911).The 2008-09 team went 29-5 and finished ranked No. 17 in the nation. His 2007-08 team finished No. 7 in the final NJCAA poll.
Eck is a 1977 graduate of Kansas Newman College where he earned a BA in history and physical education.