Durbin closing in on win No. 600

December 16, 2013

Coming off a win over Gustavus on Dec. 11, Saint Benedict head basketball coach Mike Durbin was on the cusp of winning career game No. 600. But the Blazers saw their two-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of a hot St. Thomas team. Ranked No. 12 in the country, the Tommies won for the seventh straight time on Dec. 14, beating the Blazers 60-36.

After entering the season with a 594-170 career record, Durbin has led the Blazers to a 5-3 start in the 2013-14 campaign, and will head to Bethel University at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, in Arden Hills, Minn., in search of the milestone win. Already one of the most successful coaches in Division III and women's basketball history, Durbin will join a new class with win No. 600.

When he reaches No. 600, he will become the 47th coach all-time across all levels of women's college basketball to win 600 games, and the 12th in Division III.

Of those 47 however, he can become the 15th fastest all-time to reach the mark. The Bethel contest will be his 773rd career game, and he would join the likes of Geno Auriemma of Connecticut and Pat Summitt, formerly of Tennessee, who reached 600 wins in 716 and 734 games, respectively.

He is in his 28th year with the Blazers, and his 24 20-win seasons are 13th-most all time, but the third most in Division III. Only nine Division I coaches and just one Division II coach have more 20-win campaigns than Durbin, despite consistently playing longer schedules.

All those 20-win seasons have added up to a career winning percentage of .777 a mark that ranks him ninth among active Division III coaches.

He is already the winningest coach in MIAC women's basketball history, breaking the record with his 338th career win on Dec. 1, 2001, and is the winningest women's basketball coach at any college in Minnesota history.