Angus Nicoson, former University of Indianapolis Head Men’s Basketball Coach from 1947-1976, currently holds the record for most wins by a UIndy coach with 483 wins in his basketball coaching career. The record that was held by second most winningest coach and hall of fame member, Harry Good, who won 195 games, was recently broken by Head Men’s Basketball Coach Stan Gouard after the men’s basketball game against Missouri University of Science and Technology on Jan. 21.
Gouard began his coaching career at the University of Southern Indiana, where he worked as an assistant coach from 2001-2002. He served as assistant head coach at UIndy from 2002-2005 and Indiana State University from 2005-2008.
This is now Gouard’s 10th season as head coach, since he was hired in 2008. Receiving the position of head coach, Gouard said, stands out as one of the most memorable moments of his career.
“It was very emotional because it was something I’d dreamt of for a long time, to be a head coach after only coaching for seven or eight years,” Gouard said. “I remember that day like it was yesterday, my press conference. My wife and I were getting ready for the press conference in the mirror like, ‘is this the right tie?’ ‘Is this the right shirt?’ ‘Who’s going to be there?’ I had my whole family there, including my late mother. Just looking back at the day, it was a special day for my family and I.”
Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sue Willey said she was confident about hiring Gouard, who had been an assistant coach for seven years. He had never held the position of head coach prior to his reemployment at UIndy.
“Some of our alums believed that we should always be hiring proven head coaches,” Willey said. “And my philosophy where if you’re a proven head coach, what do you really have to prove at another school? Where when you hire an assistant coach, they come pretty eager because this is their first head coach job, and they want to work their tails off.”
“It’s been incredible to watch the transformation and to see the continued success he brings.”
After the team’s 86-76 win against University of Illinois Springfield, Gouard earned the accolade of being the second UIndy coach to surpass 200 total wins in their coaching career. Willey said that she is proud to see Gouard grow as a coach and, most importantly, a role model for his players.
“It’s just really exciting because he is someone who I hired during my tenure, and so to see him get that accomplishment and to watch the success, his growth as a coach, as a leader, and as a father—he’s had a child during this time—it’s just been incredible to watch the transformation and to see the continued success he brings,” Willey said. “He’s a tremendous role model for our men, and he deserves the accolades of being our number two winningest coach. Hopefully, we’ll win many, many more games in his tenure here.”
Gouard downplays his own achievements, however, and despite his recent success at breaking them, Gouard said that he is not focused on records. He said he tries to downplay his own success to avoid adding pressure that could distract his players.
“I don’t keep up with the records like that. That’s not why I coach. It’s something I’ll celebrate when my coaching career is over,” Gouard said. “I try to downplay it as much as possible, because I don’t want to put any pressure on our guys. Because I feel like if I put too much pressure on those guys, they’re not going to do their part. I want them to do it for themselves, not for me. I don’t really dwell on records. I dwell on team success.”
For his personal success, Gouard credited his family, players and mentors. Among those who have influenced him are ISU’s Head Men’s Basketball Coach Greg Lansing, former USI Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ray Herdes, Gouard’s former basketball coach Tom Ashman, Auburn University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl, and Gouard’s own brother, George Gouard.
Gouard said, he has benefited from coaching players who have strong character, dedication to maintaining their grades and the resiliency to bounce back from disappointing losing streaks.
“If I didn’t have great kids and great players, then I wouldn’t have 200 wins. I wouldn’t be approaching that, and that’s the first thing I told my guys. I credit my family first: my wife, my daughter, my mom and dad, my brothers and sisters, my mentors,” Gouard said. “Good players, great people, good character kids and good kids in the classroom have helped me achieve that individual goal as coach.”