Jim Molinari Earns The Summit League's 'Coach of the Year' Honor
Courtesy: Western Illinois Athletics  
Release: Monday 03/08/2013
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Men's Basketball head coach Jim Molinari has been named The Summit League's 'Coach of the Year' and Terell Parks has been tabbed 'Defensive Player of the Year' by the league's coaches, sports information directors and media

To go along with his Defensive Player of the Year award, Parks was also earned First Team All-Summit League honors along with fellow senior Ceola Clark III, while Adam Link was named to the league's All-Newcomer Team.

The award marks the third 'Coach of the Year' honor in Molinari's coaching career. He earned the The Summit League's honor in 1991 when the league was known as the Mid-Continent Conference, and the Missouri Valley Conference's honor in 1996. Molinari becomes the third-ever Western Illinois head coach to earn the award, joining Jack Margenthaler (1982-83) and Jim Kerwin (1998-99).

Coach Molinari is in his fifth season as the Leathernecks' head coach and has led the Leathernecks to its most impressive season while a NCAA Division I program. Western has earned a share of its first Summit League regular season championship in 30 years, and recorded 21 wins, the most ever earned by a Western team in its Division I era.

Terell Parks earns his first career 'Defensive Player of the Year' honor, as well as his first-ever First Team All-League team honor. The senior forward is the second player in Western history to be named Defensive Player of the Year. Last year Parks earned All-Summit League Honorable Mention and was named to the All-Newcomer Team.

Parks ranks in the top 30 of four national categories: 21st in FG% (56.9), 24th in blocked shots per game (2.5), 24th in rebounds per game (9.6) and 30th in double-doubles (11.0). In WIU program history, the Beloit, Wis. native ranks second all-time in blocked shots (111), and 15th all-time in rebounds (550). Parks also leads the league in multiple categories including rebounds and blocks per game.

Ceola Clark III earns his second First Team All-Summit League honor, and third-ever All-League honor. The senior was also tabbed first team in 2009-10, and was named to the second team in 2011-12. Clark ranks 47th nationally in assist/turnover ratio (2.29). In WIU program history, the Gurnee, Ill. native ranks first in career steals (235), three-pointers (243) and games played (122), second in assists (459), and 10th in career points (1,442).

Adam Link has started all 28 games for the Leathernecks this season, averaging 32.6 minutes per game, which ranks third on the team. The junior forward sits third on the team in points per game (9.8) and rebounds per game (3.9), and leads the team in free throws made (83). The Elbert, Co. native is the owner of 17 blocks on the year, which ranks second on the team and is shooting 51.4% (95-of-185) from the floor this season, second amongst Leatherneck starters. Link has had 17 games with 10-plus points this season.

Molinari, Parks, Clark and Link were each recognized by College Sports Madness as well.

The second-seeded Fighting Leathernecks open conference tournament play Saturday evening in Sioux Falls, S.D. where they will face No. 7-seeded South Dakota at 8:35 p.m.


First Team
                Travis Bader, Oakland
                Marshall Bjorklund, North Dakota State
                Ceola Clark III, Western Illinois
                Frank Gaines, Fort Wayne
                Terell Parks, Western Illinois
                Nate Wolters, South Dakota State

Second Team
                Lawrence Alexander, North Dakota State
                Taylor Braun, North Dakota State
                Jordan Dykstra, South Dakota State
                Duke Mondy, Oakland
                Justin Simmons, Omaha

Honorable Mention
                Brandon Bos, South Dakota
                Tony Fiegen, South Dakota State
                Juevol Myles, South Dakota
                Corey Petros, Oakland
                Drew Valentine, Oakland

                Luis Jacobo, Fort Wayne
                Adam Link, Western Illinois
                Duke Mondy, Oakland
                Juevol Myles, South Dakota
                Justin Simmons, Omaha

Player of the Year
                Nate Wolters, South Dakota State

Newcomer of the Year
                Duke Mondy, Oakland

Sixth Man of the Year
                Mike Felt, North Dakota State

Defensive Player of the Year
                Terell Parks, Western Illinois

Coach of the Year
                Jim Molinari, Western Illinois



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