Former Dayton, Wittenberg coach retires after four decades in college basketball



Dan Hipsher gave Anthony Grant his first coaching job in college basketball

Former Dayton Flyers assistant coach and Wittenberg Tigers head coach Dan Hipsher announced his retirement Thursday.

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Hipsher spent the last three seasons as an associate head coach at Oakland University.

"I would like to thank Greg Kampe, the athletic department and Oakland University for three enjoyable years," said Hipsher in an Oakland press release. "It has been great being a part of Grizz Nation. With that said, my wife and I are looking forward to heading to our beach house and spending time with our friends, family and grandchildren. Go Golden Grizzlies."

Hipsher was an assistant coach at Dayton for head coach Don Donoher’s final nine seasons from 1980-89. He was 25 when Donoher hired him and had coached previously at Miami-Dade South Junior College after a playing career at Bowling Green.

When Donoher was fired in March 1989, Hipsher was named interim coach, and UD said he would be considered for the head coaching job.

'About all being interim coach meant was that I was the one who would get the call and take the responsibility should one of the basketball players get into serious trouble,'' Hipsher said at the time.

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When Dayton hired Jim O’Brien, Hipsher found a job at Wittenberg. He wasn’t Wittenberg’s first choice. They hired Bob Gillespie, of Ripon, but he changed his mind after two weeks and returned to Ripon.

Wittenberg hired Hipsher in July 1989 to replace Larry Hunter, who won a Division III national championship in 1977, his first season.

“Wittenberg basketball is known throughout the country,'' Hipsher said in 1990. ''(Donoher) kept telling me this was a good situation to walk into. The base was already built and we had talent returning. It's the kind of respected program you like to put your name on.”

Hipsher compiled a 97-18 record in four seasons at Wittenberg. His .843 winning percentage is the best by any Wittenberg coach who has spent more than one season on the job.

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In 1993, Hipsher got the head coaching job at Stetson, and one of his first moves was giving Anthony Grant, the current Dayton head coach, his first job in college coaching. He also hired Donnie Jones, who took the head coaching job at Stetson earlier this spring after spending one season on Grant’s staff.

Hipsher later spent nine seasons at Akron, winning a Mid-American Conference regular-season championship in 1998. He reunited with Grant at Alabama from 2009-13, serving as Grant’s associate head coach.

Hipsher got his final head coaching job in 2013, spending three seasons at Texas-Rio Grande Valley.

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