Former basketball coach Pivec finds new home

Former MCTC head basketball coach Jay Pivec has accepted a position as head coach of the men’s basketball team at Dakota County Technical College. This will be DCTC’s first time having a basketball program, one they hope Coach Pivec will be able to build from the ground up.

In an article from July 2010 on the National Junior College Athletic Association website, Coach Pivec sounded very optimistic about his new coaching position.

“My job at DCTC presents several similarities to when I took over an MCTC team in 1990 that had just come off an 0-21 season … I’m looking forward to building a program from scratch. Working from the ground up, we’ll be able to get our thumbprints all over this thing,” Pivec said.
Coach Pivec transformed the men’s basketball program at MCTC, bringing winning seasons to the college’s fans and supporters year after year.

The program transformed the lives of the players, giving them opportunities they might not have had, and brought national attention to the powerhouse team.

After the team placed first in the country’s junior college ranks in 2009, MCTC’s Student Senate and Student Life Budget Committee voted to withdraw funding for the program, which requires an estimated $118,000 annually to run. College President Phil Davis supported and ultimately sanctioned this decision.

Controversy about the Senate’s decision still prevails, with passionate arguments from both sides of the debate.

In May, 2010, CCN reported a $3.2 million surplus in the MCTC budget. According to Dawn Skelly, MCTC’s Director of Marketing and Communications and official college spokesperson, this was not necessarily a surplus, but rather “unanticipated revenue from Fiscal Year 2010, due to an increase in enrollment.” Skelly continued, “The basketball program historically has been funded through Student Life fees, not the College’s general operating budget.

A community fundraising campaign was launched, but it did not raise the necessary funds to keep the program operating,” so the apparent surplus could not fund the basketball program in any event.

Asked how the extra revenue was budgeted, Skelly replied, “Most of the dollars were allocated for fiscal year 2011, which began July 1, and included lowering class sizes, keeping tuition increases low (MCTC had the lowest tuition increase this fall among our peers in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system), and keeping work study funding in place for students.”

These issues seem to affect and benefit almost the entire MCTC student population.
Coach Pivec will coach Blue Knights basketball games at the Salvation Army in St. Paul, since DCTC does not yet have a home gym. The program is slated to start in October, with the team competing as an independent at the NJCAA DII level.