LAKELAND, Fla. - After helping lead Florida Southern College men's basketball to the 2019 Sunshine State Conference Tournament title and a second-straight berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament, assistant coach Mike Makubika has been promoted to the role of associate head coach, Moccasin head coach Mike Donnelly announced on Wednesday.
"I am very happy to promote Coach Makubika to associate head coach," Donnelly said. "Coach Mak and I have worked together for the last 10 years, and we have enjoyed much success building two different programs into national contenders at the Division II level. Coach Mak is very intelligent and is extremely loyal and hard-working. He is fantastic with our players and he is highly respected throughout the coaching profession. This promotion is certainly well deserved!"
Makubika has been Donnelly's top assistant for a decade, spending one season alongside Donnelly at Post and another five Southern Connecticut State before joining the staff at Florida Southern in 2015. During his time on the bench with Donnelly, Makubika has helped coach four teams that advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament including a regional title and Elite Eight appearance with SCSU in 2014.
I would like to thank Coach Donnelly for this tremendous opportunity as the Associate Head Coach," Makubika saind. "Coach Donnelly believed in me ten years ago as a young assistant coach by hiring me on his staff at Post University. Over the last decade, we've had the opportunity to recruit and coach some tremendous student-athletes. I would like to thank all the student-athletes for their hard work and success on and off the court because without them this opportunity wouldn't be possible. Lastly, I would like to thank my family and friends for believing and supporting me."
With Makubika on the bench, Donnelly's teams have posted 177 wins and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in four of the past six seasons. Makubika helped lead SCSU to back-to-back NE10 regular-season titles in 2013 and 2014 and was also on the bench with the Owls when they won the NE10 Tournament in 2014. With Makubika's help on the bench, Donnelly's teams are 4-0 all-time in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (7-4 overall) and have won 20 or more games four times in the last six seasons.
Additionally, Makubika has helped recruit and develop a pair of conference and regional Players of the Year in Greg Langston (SCSU - 2014) and Jonathan Lawton (FSC - 2019) while also coaching three all-Americans and nine 1,000-point scorers.
During his tenure as an assistant coach at Florida Southern, the Moccasins have had 26 players named to the SSC Commissioner's Honor Roll and had two more earn CoSIDA/Google Cloud Academic all-District honors. Five different players have been named to the NABC Honors Court during Makubika's time at Florida Southern, and the Mocs have earned the NABC Team Academic Award twice.
He has also been highly active in the community as the Moccasins completed nearly 250 hours of community engagement and service, participating in 11 different service opportunities including volunteer hours at the Lakeland Children's Museum and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness Walk.
A native of Connecticut, Makubika holds both a bachelor's (2006) and masters degree (2008) from Syracuse, where he served as team manager for the men's basketball team for three seasons under Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim.