Northern Iowa tabs Jacobson to fill coaching void
Cedar Falls, IA (Sports Network) – Northern Iowa promoted associate head
coach Ben Jacobson to head coach Wednesday, one day after Greg McDermott left
the program to take over at Iowa State.
Jacobson has been an assistant at UNI since 2001 and was promoted to associate
head coach this past season. The 35-year-old has helped the Panthers to three
consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and at least 20 victories in each of
those years, the first time in school history that feat has been achieved.
This will be the first head coaching position for Jacobson, who has served 12
years as an assistant at three programs. He received a five-year contract with
a base salary of $150,000 plus incentives.
“I have never been more excited and energized about a head coaching
appointment in my career than I am with the hiring of Ben Jacobson as our
men’s basketball coach,” said athletic director Rick Hartzell. “Ben is ready
to take this step. He has the support of the current team and our recruiting
class and he will do a great job of maintaining the excellence that we have
built in our men’s basketball program.”
Northern Iowa attained its first-ever top 25 ranking during the course of the
2005-06 season and tied a school record with 23 victories. The Panthers lost
to Georgetown Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
A four-year letter winner at North Dakota, Jacobson began his coaching career
as a student assistant at his alma mater in 1993. He was named a full-time
assistant at North Dakota in 1996 and spent four years in that role before
moving on to North Dakota State for the 2000-01 campaign.