Southeastern names Jay Ladner head men's basketball coach

Jay Ladner (Courtesy: SLU Athletics)
Jay Ladner (Courtesy: SLU Athletics)

From SLU Athletics

HAMMOND, La. – Fresh off a junior college national championship, Jay Ladner has been named the head men's basketball coach at Southeastern Louisiana University, athletic director Jay Artigues announced Thursday, April 10.

Ladner's hiring is pending approval of the University of Louisiana System Board of Directors. Ladner is the 12th head coach in program history and replaces Jim Yarbrough, whose contract was terminated following the 2013-14 season after nine years as head coach.

Ladner spent the past two seasons as head coach at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Miss. The Bobcats were 17-8 in his first season, finishing second in the MACJC's South Division, and this past season Jones County became the first Mississippi junior college to win a national championship.

"This is another exciting day in the history of Southeastern athletics," Artigues said. "Jay brings an enthusiasm and knowledge of this game that can take us to the next level. I'm excited to have him become the newest member of the Lion nation."

Eleventh-seeded Jones County, which set a school record for wins after finishing the season 28-5, became the lowest-seeded school to win a NJCAA basketball title in any division and the first school in tournament history to win five games in five days to win the championship.

To grab the NJCAA Division I title, Ladner's squad defeated, in succession, No. 22-seeded Highland College (Ill.), No. 6-seeded Hill College (Texas), No. 3-seeded Chipola College (Fla.), No. 2-seeded Vincennes College (Ind.) and finally knocked off top-seeded Indian Hills Community College, 87-77, at the Hutchinson Sports Arena on March 22.

"To say that I'm excited would be an understatement," Ladner said. "I'm ready to hit the ground running. At Southeastern, our goal is to make it the best we can possibly make it in a short period of time. We want to be competitive immediately."

Ladner spent the 2011-12 season as head coach at his alma mater, Oak Grove High School, in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Prior to taking the reins at his alma mater, Ladner spent the first 20 seasons of his career as the head coach at St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis, Miss.

He led the Rockachaws to the 2011 MHSAA 4A state championship and a state runner-up finish in 2010. Following the state title, Ladner was named the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) Coach of the Year. During his tenure, the Hattiesburg, Miss., native coached St. Stanislaus to 10 state tournament appearances.

Three times Ladner was named South Mississippi Coach of the Year by the Biloxi Sun-Herald. He served as head coach of the Mississippi squad in the 2010 Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game, leading his squad to a 114-88 victory.

Ladner compiled a 511-189 high school coaching record.

A member of Southern Miss' 1987 NIT Championship team, Ladner received his bachelor's degree in pre-medicine/biology, with a minor in chemistry, from Southern Miss in 1988. He received his master's degree in educational administration from Southern Miss in 1999.

Ladner and wife Jennifer have two children, Chelsea and Luke.