Men's Basketball

Mike Lightfoot achieves 700 wins

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"Seven hundred wins just kinda came along with the road." That's how Mike Lightfoot summed up Bethel's 84-70 victory over Taylor on Tuesday night that gave the legendary coach his 700th career win.
On January 21, 2014, Bethel men's basketball coach Mike Lightfoot scored his 700th career win in an 84-70 win over Taylor.
On January 21, 2014, Bethel men's basketball coach Mike Lightfoot scored his 700th career win as the Pilots beat Taylor 84-70.
"Twenty-seven years ago I didn't go into this to get 700 wins, I came here to make an impact on people." said Lightfoot. And he sure has. Lightfoot now has 700 wins in 960 career games - 18th fastest in any level of college basketball. It was a special evening in so many ways, but Lightfoot said it was the fans who made it memorable. "I just love Bethel students," he said. "I love what they stand for, I love the character, I love what they do in the community...it's really special (to win number 700) for our student body." Now in his 27th year as the coach of the Pilots, Lightfoot has stacked up an astounding resume. He has led the Pilots to seven national championships and 17 conference titles. He has five national coach of the year awards. Lightfoot remembers how it all began. "A great story is that when we started this I lost my first two games," said Lightfoot. "And John Parent, the South Bend tribune writer, came to me on Monday morning and said, 'Hey coach, I just wanted you to know that you're the first coach in the history of Bethel that has lost the first two games of their career.'" He's come a long way since then. Most important to Lightfoot, though, has been the opportunity to impact players. "We try to build men, men of character and integrity with godly principles and ideals," said Lightfoot. "That's the rewarding thing." His players are very thankful for that approach. "He's been more than a coach, that's for sure," said senior guard Landon Booker. "My parents had moved down to Georgia for half a year, and he told me, 'Your parents are gone now, so I'm your dad now.'" Lightfoot is now the second coach to ever reach 700 career wins at an Indiana four-year college. The first was former Taylor basketball coach Paul Patterson who won his 700th game against - yep, you guessed it - the Bethel College Pilots. What goes around comes around. The no. 15 Pilots now move to 16-5 for the year and look to keep the momentum going in a monumental matchup against no. 11 Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday, Jan.25.  
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