Feature Story

Hoop It Up!

January 23, 2015 – by Brian Cook ’15

Bishops’ DeWitt Records 300th Career Victory

OWU head men’s basketball coach Mike DeWitt (kneeling) earned his 300th career win on Jan. 17. He has won more than 250 games as coach of the Battling Bishops. (Photo by Sara Blake)

Mike DeWitt, head men’s basketball coach for Ohio Wesleyan University, notched his 300th career victory and 250th Battling Bishops win on Jan. 17 when OWU defeated the DePauw Tigers of Indiana.

“It’s a nice accomplishment,” says DeWitt, also a 1987 OWU alumnus, “but it’s a credit to all of the players we’ve had during my 16 years here. I’m really happy to achieve this milestone with this current team because of the pleasure I get from coaching them.”

Athletic Director Roger Ingles calls DeWitt “an excellent communicator” who adapts his system to the strengths of his players.

“Best of all, he is a great game coach,” Ingles says. “He is always thinking ahead and makes great adjustments as the game progresses.”

After Ohio Wesleyan’s win against Oberlin on Jan. 21, DeWitt’s career record at Ohio Wesleyan is 251-171, giving him a winning percentage of .595 – the best among OWU men’s coaches since Raymond Detrick coached his last season in 1938-39.

Under DeWitt’s leadership, the Bishops are on their way to their fifth straight winning season and have had only one losing season since 2004-05.

Ingles says DeWitt’s ability to network and surround himself with a great supporting cast is one of the reasons he has had sustained success at OWU.

“Mike has developed a strong network, works hard at recruiting, and attracts great assistant coaches to work with him,” Ingles says.

Ingles also praises DeWitt’s dedication to his players. “[DeWitt] stands up for his players, which makes them respect him even more and play hard for him.”

DeWitt’s first win may have been his most memorable, Ingles says, but there are other unforgettable victories, too.

“I think the win that stands out the most to me was the first time we beat Wittenberg at home in (many) years,” Ingles says. “Mike and his assistant, John Ellenwood, came over to my home that night, and I knew then that, that win was the breakthrough moment for his program.”

DeWitt and the Bishops jump back into action Jan. 24 with an afternoon visit to Denison. Learn more about the team in this year’s team program.