|Bethany Lutheran athletics photo|
Bethany Lutheran dropped Greg Holzhueter as its head men's basketball coach after three seasons, but he didn't stay unemployed long. He will return to his alma mater Martin Luther to take over as its head men's basketball coach
Bethany Lutheran let Holzhueter go in late March after he led the Vikings to a 10-15 mark this past season, 8-8 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, the teams' best marks in his short tenure. Bethany Lutheran was 23-52 under Holzhueter. He had been an assistant under former Vikings coach Greg Balza for two seasons before taking over.
Martin Luther didn't wait long to snap up the former three-sport star. Jim Unke, who was the Knights' head coach for 19 years and serves as the College's Director of Athletics, stepped aside so Holzheuter could take over over its men's program.
Holzhueter graduated from MLC in 2011 with one of the most memorable athletic careers in school history. He was a four-year letter-winner in football as a quarterback, basketball as a guard, and baseball as a short stop, and his name is in the record books in multiple categories in all three sports. He also received all conference recognition in all three sports.
"We're very excited that someone of Greg's caliber will be leading our program moving forward," Unke said. "Greg understands our mission at MLC as well as anyone, and also brings three years of experience at the collegiate level in the UMAC."
Unke leaves the program after 19 years as head coach, finishing with a career record of 164-301, including a 96-138 record in conference play. During his tenure, the Knights won a pair of UMAC regular season championships (2002-03 and 2008-09), as well as one tournament championship (1999-00), which resulted in the school's first ever trip to the NAIA National Tournament that season. He was also named UMAC Coach of the Year in men's basketball on four separate occasions.
In his 34 seasons as a basketball coach between MLC and Lakeside Lutheran High School, Unke compiled a 380-375 overall record.
"I absolutely love coaching," Unke said. "I really hate to see it end, but with the responsibilities as the AD growing, something had to give. I'm excited and looking forward to welcoming Greg back to MLC."
Holzhueter finished his four-year MLC career as the school's all-time leader in assists (370) and steals (170). He also ranks second in program history in career free throws (319), and seventh in career points (1191).
The Knights made the conference tournament in all four seasons in which he played, and he was the starting point guard on the Knights' last UMAC championship team in the 2008-09 season.
"I was honored to receive the call to return to my alma mater as men's basketball coach and Instructor, and I can't wait to get started in my new role," Holzhueter said. "I have a passion for the mission of Martin Luther College, and I know how special this place is. It will be a tremendous blessing to undertake the challenge of leading MLC's men's basketball program in its continued pursuit of excellence on the court, while also making an impact in the lives of future pastors, teachers, and staff ministers."
The Knights finished 1-22, 1-15 in the UMAC last season.