Niko Medved was named the head men's basketball coach at Drake on March 26, 2017, after a successful four-year tenure building the program at Furman University.
A well-respected head coach at Furman University and Minnesota native, Medved has a proven record of building a program through recruiting and player development at one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions.
“I am extremely excited to welcome Niko Medved and his family to Drake University,” Hatfield Clubb said. “Niko has built a championship program centered on student-athletes who thrive in the classroom and on the basketball court. He is a tenacious and passionate recruiter whose vision for success aligns with the tenants of The Bulldog Way touchstone. His strong Midwest ties and his proven success at a highly academic institution make him a perfect fit to lead the Bulldogs.”
Medved, the 2017 Southern Conference Coach of the Year, has served as the head coach at Furman the past four seasons where he led the Paladins to the 2017 SoCon regular-season championship with a 13-3 conference record. This season’s highlights included a 10-game win streak and a second-straight appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Medved has guided the Paladins to the semifinals of the postseason tournament with a 23-11 record to date this season. The Paladins continue their quest for the CIT championship on Wednesday.
"I am ecstatic about the opportunity to be the next men's basketball coach at Drake University,” Medved said. “Drake University's tremendous reputation partnered with its strong leadership and the thriving Des Moines community make this a special place. I was born and raised in the Midwest and have so many strong roots in this part of the country. My family and I can't wait to get started.”
Medved has revitalized the Furman program, taking over a seven-win team in 2013 and progressing to nine, 11, 19, and 23 wins in successive seasons. Medved has also coached back-to-back SoCon Players of the Year in Stephen Croone and Devin Sibley, Jr. In just his third season at Furman in 2015–2016, Medved guided the Paladins to a 19-16 overall record, a third-place finish in the Southern Conference, and the school's first postseason victory in 40 years. He helped the Paladins to a school record 14 home victories during the 2015–2016 campaign and led the Paladins to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
His recruiting at Furman produced immediate results with Sibley being named the SoCon Freshman of the Year in 2015 and a total of four student-athletes earning spots on the SoCon All-Freshman Team in the last three years.
“Niko Medved brings proven ability as a head coach to build a successful and sustainable men's basketball program to Drake,” added Drake University President Marty Martin. “He is a highly effective recruiter, great at player development, and an excellent coach on both sides of the ball. I am thrilled to welcome Niko and Erica, and their three-week old daughter Aly, to Drake and Des Moines.”
The 43-year-old head coach took over the Furman program after six seasons as an assistant coach at Colorado State where he helped engineer a similar turnaround under Head Coach Tim Miles in which the program rebounded from a seven-win season to a postseason appearance two years later, a 20-win season in 2011–2012, and the first of back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the Rams.
At Colorado State, Medved’s recruiting efforts produced numerous standout players including 2013 honorable mention AP All-American and first-team All-Mountain West Conference choice Colton Iverson, 2013 Mountain West Conference Sixth Man of the Year Daniel Bejarano, second team All-MWC pick Dorian Green, third team all-league selection Pierce Hornung, 2012 first team All-MWC guard Wes Eikmeier, and two-time all-league performer Andy Ogide.
Before joining the staff at Colorado State, Medved spent a season as an assistant at the University of Minnesota under Dan Monson following seven seasons as an assistant at Furman, including serving as the school’s interim head coach in the spring of 2006. Furman registered winning seasons in each of Medved’s last three years in Greenville and four of the final five seasons.
Medved began his career at the University of Minnesota in 1992, where he was a student manager and assistant. He also served as the associate head coach at Macalester College from 1997–1999 and worked four years as an instructor at the prestigious Nike All-America camp. He completed his B.S. in kinesiology in 1997 and his master’s in sport management in 1999, both from the University of Minnesota.