In his 26th year directing the Pilot program, Head Coach Mike Lightfoot has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, including more wins than all previous Bethel coaches combined (658 to 441), three NAIA national championships, four NCCAA national championships, 10 Crossroads League regular season championships and seven Crossroads League tournament championships (more than any coach in League history), five National Coach of the Year and six League Coach of the Year awards.
These accomplishments, however, do not define his coaching career, but rather it is his insatiable desire to accomplish more.
Owning of a career record of 658-243, it's easy to see that Lightfoot knows how to win, but he also knows how to win the right way. In his 25 years at the helm of the Bethel program, 98.7 percent of his players who completed their eligibility also completed their degree. In the last six years, 21 Pilots have received undergraduate degrees, including 11 in the past four seasons.
Lightfoot is the quickest collegiate coach at any level to 300, 400, 500, and 600 career wins. He accomplished those feats in 10, 13, 18, and 22 seasons, respectively. He is also tied for the quickest to 100 and 200 career wins, accomplishing those in 4 and 8 seasons, respectively.
Lightfoot and the Bethel Pilots won three NAIA DII national championships in 1995, 1997, 1998 and are the only program to win back-to-back titles and appear in back-to-back-to-back championship games in history. Additionally, Lightfoot's teams hold records at the national tournament for points in a tournament (the top four records), field goals in a tournament (the top three records), rebounds in a tournament (the top two records), most 100-point games, most combined points in a game, and most points in a game.
Through 25 seasons coaching in the Crossroads League, Lightfoot is one of the most successful coaches in history. He is the second-longest tenured coach in league history, ranking behind Grace's Jim Kessler (34).
**Click here to read more about Coach Lightfoot's first 25 years at Bethel.
**Click here to view Coach Lightfoot's Bethel Hall of Fame page