John Ellenwood
John Ellenwood
Title: Head Men's Basketball Coach
Phone: 419-289-5443
Year: 11th in 2019-20
Previous College: Wooster '00, Bowling Green '04, Ashland '19
  • Has more than 200 wins in his collegiate head-coaching career (204-158, .564)
  • Is second place on Ashland's all-time wins list (171-110, .609)

Ashland University head men's basketball coach John Ellenwood has established one of the top men's basketball programs in the Midwest Region in NCAA Division II over the last five seasons.

In those five campaigns, the Eagles have won 106 games, and reached the Division II postseason twice. In 2018-19, Ashland's men went 23-7 overall and 15-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and reached the NCAA Division II postseason for the second time in four years. It was the third time in the last four seasons that the Eagles won at least 20 games, and the seventh time Ellenwood has led AU to a winning record.

The 2017-18 season saw the Eagles finish 20-10. AU also reached the GLIAC Tournament for the fourth straight year.

In 2016-17, Ashland went 19-10 and came within a possession of winning the GLIAC Tournament. It was the first time the program had advanced to the GLIAC Tournament championship game.

The 2015-16 season was a breakthrough for both Ellenwood and the Eagles. Ashland sported a 25-6 record and reached the NCAA Division II postseason for the first time in 25 years. The Eagles also won a second consecutive GLIAC South Division title (first outright), shared the GLIAC regular-season championship for the first time and played host to a GLIAC Tournament Final Four for the first time.

In 2014-15, Ellenwood led the Eagles to their first GLIAC Tournament berth in three seasons. In addition, AU's 19-10 record meant the program's best single-season improvement in almost three decades. Sophomore forward Wendell Davis was one of the top players in both the GLIAC and the Midwest Region, and earned several postseason honors.

AU finished the 2012-13 season by winning eight of its last nine games. That run was accomplished with a lineup Ellenwood had to revamp midway through the season due to injuries. The Eagles ended the year at 13-12 overall, 10-3 on their home court. For the second consecutive season, forward Evan Yates was a first-team all-conference and all-region pick, and was regarded as one of the top players in the region.

In 2011-12, Ashland went 15-12 overall, 10-9 in GLIAC play. AU was 12-2 on its home floor. The Eagles advanced to the first round of the GLIAC Tournament. Yates was a second-team All-American. He was the first All-American the program produced in 20 years. A number of other youngsters started to emerge as valuable contributors on a rising program. All of those players were Ellenwood recruits.

In 2010-11, the Eagles finished 13-13 overall. Ashland had one of the youngest lineups in the GLIAC, yet was competitive night-in and night-out against the league's best teams.

The 2009-10 season was Ellenwood's first at Ashland, and the former College of Wooster standout began the process of re-constructing the AU basketball program. Ellenwood guided the Eagles to a 13-15 record, 9-13 in GLIAC action. The Eagles qualified for the GLIAC postseason tournament for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

Ellenwood was named AU's head basketball coach on April 2, 2009. He came to the Eagles after three years as the head coach at NCAA Division III Thomas More College.

At Thomas More, Ellenwood directed one of the most impressive turnarounds in the country. His first year, he took over a team that had won two games the year before. In his first season, the Saints were 3-23. The following season, Thomas More improved to 11-16 and, for the first time in school history, reached the semifinals of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.

That set the stage for his final season at the school, when the Saints went 19-9 and, for the first time in school history, won the regular season and conference titles. The Saints were invited to the NCAA Division III tourney for the first time in school history. Thomas More lost in the first round of the postseason to Capital.

In 2008-09, Thomas More had three players selected to the all-conference team, and Ellenwood was named the PAC coach of the year. The basketball team had a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0, and the Saints received the conference's Men's Basketball Team Sportsmanship Award.

Before becoming the head coach at Thomas More, Ellenwood served as an assistant coach at Ohio Wesleyan (2000-03) and Capital (2003-06). Capital went 45-31 during his time there. Ellenwood was the coach of the junior varsity program there, and in 2004-05, that unit went 10-4. At Capital, Ellenwood coordinated recruiting and scouting.

Ellenwood has deep ties to Ohio. A native of Sylvania, he began his collegiate career at Lake Superior State, a GLIAC member. He transferred to the College of Wooster, where he became one of the best post players in school history. Ellenwood played at Wooster from 1996-2000. During that time, Wooster was 96-19. Ellenwood scored 1,203 points, which puts him 12th in career points at the school. He is the NCAC career leader in field goal percentage (65 percent), and holds the conference single-game record for most field goals without a missed shot (11).

Ellenwood was named an All-America in 2000, and earned a spot on the all-region team in 1999 and 2000. He was named first-team All-NCAC three times and played on three conference championship teams. The Fighting Scots advanced to the NCAA playoffs all four years he was at Wooster, and the 1999-2000 team is the only team in NCAC history to go undefeated during the season and postseason. Ellenwood played on teams that advanced to the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen in 1999 and 2000. Recently, he was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.

Ellenwood left Wooster with a 3.2 GPA as a Psychology/Education major. He was awarded a prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarship. The AU head coach went on to earn a Master of Education degree in Sport Management from Bowling Green in 2004, and an MBA from Ashland in 2019 with a specialization in Project Management.

Ellenwood and his wife, Abbi, have been married for 15 years, and have four children - John, Mollie, Brian and Aubrey. The family resides in Ashland.

John Ellenwood's Coaching Record

Year School Record Pct.
2018-19 Ashland 23-7 .767
2017-18 Ashland 20-10 .667
2016-17 Ashland 19-10 .655
2015-16 Ashland 25-6 .806
2014-15 Ashland 19-10 .655
2013-14 Ashland 11-15 .423
2012-13 Ashland 13-12 .520
2011-12 Ashland 15-12 .556
2010-11 Ashland 13-13 .500
2009-10 Ashland 13-15 .464
2008-09 Thomas More 19-9 .679
2007-08 Thomas More 11-16 .407
2006-07 Thomas More 3-23 .115