MINERAL AREA COLLEGE
Men's Basketball Coaching Staff
Head Coach - Luke Strege
Luke Strege is entering his third season as the head basketball coach at Mineral Area College. In his two years at the helm, Coach Strege has amassed an overall record of 53-9. This past year Coach Strege lead the Cardinals to a 28-3 record and a top 10 national ranking. In his first season as coach, Coach Strege lead the Cardinals to a 25-6 record. MAC was ranked as high as #13 in the country that season.
Strege is the fourth coach in the the history of the program. He comes to the Park Hills, Mo., community college having finished his fifth season as the assistant men’s basketball coach and recruiting coordinator at Eastern Kentucky University. While at Eastern Kentucky, Strege helped guide the Colonels to an Ohio Valley Conference Championship in 2014 and a berth to the NCAA National Tournament. Eastern Kentucky’s 49 wins from 2012-2014 are the most during any two-year period in program history.
Before arriving at Eastern, Strege served six years on the staff at Quincy University in Quincy, Ill. In 2009-2010, Strege helped the Hawks finish 23-9 overall while climbing to as high as #10 in the Division II national polls. Quincy earned a spot in the 2010 NCAA Division II Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. In 2007-2008, Strege was promoted to Quincy’s associate head coach. In Strege’s six seasons at Quincy, the Hawks posted six consecutive winning seasons and advanced to four NCAA Division II Tournaments.
Strege began his collegiate coaching career in 2000-2001 as a graduate assistant at the University of Georgia. He then spent two more years as a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky University (2001-2003). Before moving to Quincy, Strege served as an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Towson University in Baltimore in 2003-2004.
Mineral Area College Athletic Director Chad Mills said he and others are “thrilled” to have Strege on board. “Luke brings fifteen years of experience at the Division I and Division II level,” Mills said. “More than his ability to coach, we’re excited about the high character that Luke brings to MAC. He is a great family man and he will do an outstanding job of representing both the community and the college.”
Strege graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1999 with bachelor’s degree in marketing. He and his wife Christine, are proud parents of Mason, Griffin, and Jaxon.
University of Georgia (Graduate Assistant, 2000-2001)
Western Kentucky (Graduate Assistant, 2001-2003)
Towson (Assistant Coach, 2003-2004)
Quincy (Assistant Coach- Associate Head Coach, 2004-2010)
Eastern Kentucky University (Assistant Coach, 2010-2015)
Assistant Coach- Joe Penno
Joe Penno returns to Mineral Area for his second season as an assistant coach following a 28-3 record in his first year with the program. He was instrumental in the winningest regular season in program history (28 wins), as well as the longest winning streak in program history (24 wins). He helped with the development of four All-Region XVI performers in Shawn Roundtree, Lamar Morgan, Devin Thomas, and Zac Cuthbertson; with Cutbertson winning the Region XVI Player of the Year. More importantly, Coach Penno assisted in the academic affairs and subsequent graduation of all eight of the Mineral Area College sophomores as they all moved on to earn full scholarships at four-year institutions.
Coach Penno came to Mineral Area from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, graduating in May of 2016. While at Centre, Coach Penno was the head running backs coach for the Centre College football team his final three years of college following an injury sustained his freshman year. During this time, the program won two conference championships, earning one trip to the NCAA Division III playoffs in 2014. The Centre offense ranked in the Top 10 nationally in total offense and rushing yards per game the three years Joe was coaching. Additionally, he was responsible for three first team All-Conference running backs and one All-American.
Joe was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio and was a 2012 graduate of Archbishop Alter High School. During high school, Coach Penno was a two-time state champion and All-State running back for Alter’s football program and captain for the basketball team playing for legendary high school coach Joe Petrocelli who is 2nd all-time in the state for wins. He is the youngest of four siblings and the son of Bob and Julie Penno.
Assistant Coach - Zach Towle
Zach Towle begins his first year as Assistant Coach at Mineral Area. Coach Towle comes from an Assistant position at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska where he spent the previous four years focusing on player development and recruitment. During this time he helped lead the Hawks to a combined record of 80 wins, 45 losses, and three consecutive winning seasons; a first in Northeast history.
In 2014-2015, Coach Towle played an integral role in the development of major players Chima Moneke, Buay Tuach and Jalen Bradley. Moneke is a current star at UC Davis where he was named the top Division 1 transfer receiving the Riley Wallace Award. Tuach went on to play at Loyal Marymount, and Bradley joined Oral Roberts.
In 2016-2017 Coach Towle led the Northeast Hawks to a record of 21-10, finishing third in the ICCAC. Northeast averaged over 93.6 points per game. Lead scorers Vance Johnson and Marty Hill were both named ICCAC All-Conference first team honorees, and Kyle McKinley was named an ICCAC All-Conference second team honoree. Vance Johnson went onto University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Marty Hill Evansville University and Kyle McKinley Louisiana Tech University.
Zach Towle is a 2009 graduate of Concordia Academy in Roseville, Minnesota. The Maplewood, Minnesota, native was a four-year starter at Concordia Academy where he scored over 2,500 career points with multiple games scoring over 40 points. The three-point specialist holds a state record for 373 three-pointers made during his career, which also landed him on the high school national scoring list. Towle still holds school records in points, steals, and assists. Zach has received his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Recreation Management from Ashford University in 2016, and is currently completing his Master’s Degree in Business Administration.