Hope’s Morehouse reaches 700 wins faster than any other NCAA Basketball Coach

Story Courtesy Hope Athletics

A career that began with a modest winning record has grown into one unlike any other in the nation for Hope College women’s basketball coach Brian Morehouse.

Morehouse became the fastest NCAA basketball coach to 700 wins — in any division, men’s or women’s — after the nationally-ranked Flying Dutch’s 79-77, double-overtime victory against Alma College on Saturday at DeVos Fieldhouse.

In the middle of his 28th season, Morehouse’s record is 700-95, a .881 winning percentage. He was 31-23 after his first two seasons at Hope, his alma mater.

Morehouse’s 700 wins in 795 games surpassed Mark Campbell of Union University (Tenn.) women’s basketball, who previously held the collegiate record of 700 wins in 811 games which included wins at the NCAA, NAIA and National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association levels. 

Morehouse surpassed the NCAA record 700 wins in 813 games set by Louisiana State women’s coach Kim Mulkey on December 7 against Virginia Tech.

The previous fastest NCAA coaches to 700 wins were UConn’s Geno Auriemma (women) in 822 games and Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp (men) in 836 games.

Morehouse already owns the NCAA record for the fastest basketball coach to 600 wins (690). 

After the game, video tributes were played that featured congratulatory messages from former players and Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo. Izzo is himself four wins from 700 for his coaching career.

“It was so special. All of those people took time out of their lives to come here and play basketball, and also took time to record those messages,” Morehouse said. “It was a special day. We haven’t had many milestone wins at home. ‘Who has it better than we have?’ The best part about 700 is people want to talk about me and I get to talk about everyone else. I get to talk about Michelle Sterk Schoon, Colly [Carlson], my dad [Dean Morehouse], Kyle Lurvey, Courtney Kust, Kristen Slotman — all these people who were alongside me for the ride — and all the great players who’ve got it done.”

Morehouse also thanked his family, including his wife, Liz.

“I don’t think people understand the challenge this puts on a family,” Morehouse said. “The things that my wife Liz has sacrificed so I could be a college coach are monumental. And our kids sacrificed not going on some vacations or not being at all of their games. It is pretty amazing, but it takes a toll. There is only one person that has been there for every single win – Liz.”

Sophomore forward Sydney Vis and her teammates are thrilled for their coach.

“He genuinely cares about us off the court, not just as basketball players,” Vis said. “He checks in on us every single day. He is always there for us. That’s why he’s been such a great coach.”

The victory was Morehouse’s 406th in 439 home games, a .925 winning percentage. His teams are 393-14 at DeVos Fieldhouse (.966) and 113-10 at the Dow Center (.919).

The two-time national champion is now 363-41 (.899) against MIAA opponents.

Morehouse has never recorded a losing season at Hope. His teams have won at least 20 games in 25 consecutive seasons and 30 games four times.

It’s been an unforgettable journey for Morehouse, who initially declined two offers to become women’s basketball head coach after serving as the men’s basketball junior varsity coach. He took over in the 1996-97 season.

Now, he stands at 700 wins … and counting.

“I don’t know why God put me in this place 28 years ago. I turned it down because I wasn’t ready for it,” he said. “God was persistent and finally beat it through my head. The cool thing is I have never thought twice about it since then. I love where I am at and haven’t had an itch to leave.”

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