Coach Pleasant Gains 700th Win At Rochester College

In a recent cleaning spree of the basement, Garth Pleasant and his wife found an old scrapbook. Inside it were artifacts of former clippings of newspapers articles, photos and team schedules for the early years of his years with Rochester College…  Read more

“It’s kind of funny, but I found the schedule of my first season coaching at Rochester College,” recalled Pleasant, now in his 38th season with the Warriors. “I do remember my first coaching win. My wife found my first schedule. It’s kind of funny what you might find.”

That first win came against Grace College of Grand Rapids (Mich.) and it came on Nov. 14, 1972. Some 38 years later, and Pleasant is still coaching and still gaining wins. On Nov. 10, he coached his team to its 700th victory. This win came on the road in a 98-51 rout of Ohio State-Marion and in front of a paid attendance of just 45 spectators.

“That’s not the reason why I coach,” said Pleasant. “It’s coaching kids and watching them grow.”

In this game, all 15 active players saw minutes for Pleasant’s Warriors – he has four other players taking red shirts this season – and all played at least six minutes.

Michael Graham led the way with 16 points, five rebounds and five steals. Ricky Doran added 16 points Lorenzo McClelland added 12 points and Jeff Hines added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Warriors.

Rochester College (5-1) out-rebounded Marion by a 40-12 margin and forced 28 turnovers.

Nate Shellow scored 11 for Marion (0-2).

Sean Mattia scored eight and Clarence Spurr added seven points for Rochester College, which sent 11 players into the scoring column.

“I think we have played pretty good so far this season,” praised Pleasant. “we got a lot of guys some minutes in that game. We have regularly been playing eight-nine-ten guys in games. This time we could go a lot of deeper.”

For Pleasant, who was inducted into the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Hall of Fame in 2007, he gives credits to the players.

Back when I was inducted into the BCAM, I told everyone there that I never scored a point, I never grabbed a rebound and I never handed out an assist,” recalled Pleasant. “It’s the kids that go out and play. I just have the best seat in the house on the bench watching.

“When I got my 500th win I gave my wife the game ball. After, I won my 600th game, I told my wife that there would be no 700th. Now, I promise there will be no 800th (win).