This season was one for the record books for the Vanguard Men’s Basketball team. After earning a GSAC Championship title they continued into the post season winning the GSAC Tournament Championship as well. As they made their way to Kansas City for the NAIA Division 1 National Championship Tournament, they had their sights set on continuing their historical season and they have done just that.
After being the first team in the program’s 64 years to advance past the second round of the tournament the Lions did not stop there.
March 25, 2014 the Lions took the court against Emmanuel College with determination in their eyes and after 40 minutes they came out with a win and Vanguard’s first NAIA Men’s Division 1 National Championship.
For head coach Rhett Soliday this year marks his 4th season coaching at Vanguard. His commitment to the program and the Scholar-Athletes that play for him is apparent. Not only was he voted the GSAC Coach of the Year he was also chosen as the Rawlings-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year.
“It feels amazing. We just praise God. We said before this game, win or lose, that we’re going to give Him the glory, because He made this a special season” said Head Coach Rhett Soliday.
Junior Chris Gorman and ESPN Player of the Game said, “This is the biggest moment of my life, I am so happy for our guys and coaches. Thank you to all of our fans, supporters and family members. We love you guys and would not be champions if not for you all. I am so happy for Vanguard University and the direction that this program is headed. All of the glory goes to God.”
This Vanguard team exhibits exactly what it means the be a Vanguard Lion. Proving the handwork and dedication pay off, they shattered the expectations of many. Throughout their season, they worked together to make the final result something truly amazing.