The Blackburn College Athletic Department has announced that Austin Kirby is the new head men's basketball coach. Kirby succeeds Steve Kollar who recently took the head coaching position at Concordia-Chicago. Kirby is a Blackburn Alum and was the assistant basketball coach the past four seasons. During his tenure, Kirby assisted with the Beavers ascending to a ten-win team to back to back appearances in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament. Kirby, who is from Lincoln, Illinois and played at Lincoln Community High School for his grandfather, legendary coach Neil Alexander. "We are excited to name Austin Kirby as Blackburn's new Head Men's Basketball Coach," said Blackburn Athletic Director John Malin. "Austin has been an important part of men's basketball program for the past four seasons as as assistant coach and we are fortunate that he is available to assume leadership for the program. He has a tremendous passion for the game and he has high expectations for maintaining success for the team and our student-athletes," added Malin.
The Beavers are set to return many important pieces for the 2019-2020 season including Karson Hayes, a first team all-conference performer, and a player set to rise up the Blackburn all-time scoring list next season.
"It's a dream come true to become the head coach at my alma mater. Blackburn has had a great impact on my life and I'm excited for this opportunity," said Kirby. "We have a fantastic group of young men returning and I look forward to challenging and developing them on a daily basis," added Kirby. "I want to thank Coach Steve Kollar, Coach Kollar was a terrific mentor and was crucial to my development as a coach, I cannot thank him enough for the past four years I spent with him," Kirby said.