MISHAWAKA – After two years replacing a legend he knew very well, Ryne Lightfoot is looking to get his footing elsewhere.
Lightfoot, the son of legendary Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach Mike Lightfoot, took over the Bethel College men’s basketball program two seasons ago after a stellar career as a Pilot. Thursday morning, it was announced by the school Lightfoot will not be retained as a head coach. The school did not elaborate on the extent of the decision, only that it was a personnel decision.
While a head coach with the Pilots for two seasons, Lightfoot guided Bethel to two NAIA tournament appearances, was the quickest Crossroads League coach to attain 30 wins, amassed 43 wins in his two seasons, and guided Bethel to a 21-11 record this past season.
Lightfoot had himself a pair of all-time careers at both NorthWood High School and Bethel College before serving as a program assistant for his dad beginning in 2011. Mike Lightfoot coached at Bethel for 30 years and won nearly 800 games, guiding Bethel to multiple national championships.
Lightfoot graduated from NorthWood as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,673 points and is a member of the Elkhart County Sports Hall of Fame.
At Bethel, he was a standout, totaling 2,075 points (10th all-time), 702 assists (5th all-time) and 500 rebounds (34th all-time). Lightfoot and two-time NAIA Player of the Year Rico Swanson (1998 graduate) are the only two players at Bethel to finish their careers with over 2,000 points, 700 assists and 500 rebounds.
Bethel assistant coach Drew Schauss will lead the program in the interim as Bethel begins its search for a new coach.