Head Coach Greg Tonagel

Coach Tonagel was much more than just a coach to me. He and his staff not only stand for the right things, but they live the right way every day. I can truly say that although he was my coach, I also saw him as a father figure in my life. He challenged me to grow in ways I had never been challenged before.
— RJ Mahurin, Class of 2014
Coach Tonagel was an outstanding basketball player for us here at Valparaiso University, and it is not a surprise to me the outstanding accomplishments he has made for IWU. He knows the game, works hard, and relates extremely well to his players. He truly is one of the best young coaches in our profession.
— Homer Drew


QUICK FACTS

  • 2014, 2016 and 2018 NAIA DII National Champions

  • 2014, 2016 and 2018 NABC/NAIA DII National Coach of the Year

  • 6-time Crossroads League Coach of the Year

  • 330-91 (.784) career record makes him the all time winningest coach at IWU

  • 157-47 (.769) Conference record

  • 8 Regular Season Conference Championships in the past twelve seasons

  • 9 NAIA Quarterfinal appearances in the last eleven seasons--more than any school in the country

  • Has led Wildcats to top-6 NAIA ranking in each of the last twelve years

  • Has coached 17 NAIA All Americans and 29 All Conference players in his 13 seasons

  • Played in four NCAA Tournaments while at Valparaiso University

  • Has four children with his wife Amy (Jace, Will, Allie and Riley)


IN HIS OWN WORDS

A typical Wildcat player is...

 A player who has a fearless commitment to excel in the pursuit of unselfish goals.

IAm3 is...

IAm3 is to pursue the life of Jesus —he lived in radical obedience to God and selfless love towards other people. This becomes the pattern our lives are to follow for true success and fulfillment.

Fearless is...

In life and athletics, fear will try and paralyze you.  You must learn to let go of security or control.  In those big moments you must choose between safety and courage.  The bottom line is this: 'greatness favors the fearless.'

What makes a team great?

The self focus of our age works against greatness in team sports.  It also works against greatness in one’s personal life.  The aim of our program is to flip that focus by redirecting young men to make God the primary pursuit of one’s life while also investing into the destinies of others.  When a man makes this critical change and begins to realize the potential within himself, but that it has to be invested into others to have its power fulfilled and purpose found—that’s when a man becomes great and a team finds greatness.  It truly is one of the greatest paychecks in coaching!  

What do you hope a player who plays at IWU gains from his experience...

If there is one memory that our players should have of our program it is this:  God was first.  God was central.  There was passion for putting God first in all things on and off the court.  And secondly, meeting the needs of others is a fun way to play ball and live life.  I hope the formula for success that they take with them to their workplaces and homes becomes, 'if you want to be 1st, first find a way to be 3rd!'

What is your approach to helping players reach their potential on the floor?

It is special to want to be great.  My role as a coach is to motivate greatness inside each player.  I want them to embrace the adversity in hard work with joy, because this is the path to success.  Walking alongside my players encouraging them through this process is what I call coaching.  


GREG TONAGEL ON THE WEB


Listen to Coach T talk about IAm3


Read a blog post by Coach T


Click here for Greg Tonagel Speaking Bio