Coach Margenthaler Featured on KFAN’s Dan Barreiro Bumper-to-Bumper Show

Mavericks Men’s Basketball Coach Matt Margenthaler was featured in an extended interview with KFAN’s Justin Gaard as part of Thursday, April 4, broadcast of the popular Dan Barreiro Bumper-to-Bumper daily Twin Cities sports show.

Rebroadcast of the interview can be found on the Dan Barreiro Podcast available on iHeart Radio, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other streaming platforms. Margenthaler’s 24-minute interview starts at 21:00 into the second segment of the April 4 podcast.

Earlier in the week Margenthaler garnered his first National Association of Basketball Coaches 2024 Coach of the Year honors after his Mavericks captured the National Men’s DII Championship in exciting last-second fashion.

The KFAN interview from Phoenix opens with the closing seconds of the CBS-televised championship game. Mavericks senior Malik Willingham finds his brother junior Kyreese Willingham in the corner. As the clock ticks its final seconds, Kyreese shoots a high-arching three-pointer over a leaping 6-foot-10 Nova Southeastern defender for nothing but net with .8 seconds left.

“The only person that could have made that shot, Justin, is Ky. He’s in the right corner. Left-hand shooter. Six-6, he’s long. And he shoots it,” Margenthaler recaps. “Seriously, that was the long…it seemed like it was up there for eight minutes.”

Margenthaler goes on to share the special team spirit that drove the Mavericks all season toward that championship trophy. “This team just had that ‘it’ factor. They were selfless and didn’t care whose out there getting the credit.” He added that the toughness of the Central Region prepared them for a national title run.

The Maverick coach for the past 23 seasons also broke the news that he was given a contract extension. Margenthaler said the title has re-vitalized him and his staff. The challenge is to keep it going.

“I’ve never lived it before, so I don’t know. We need to capitalize on the success, not just the men but the women (who also won the 2024 National DII women’s basketball title). People are supporting basketball in Mankato like no one’s business,” he said. “We have to win. We have to win again next year. That’s ultimately what it is. We have to continue to find the right fit of guys that will do the things we want to do on and off the court. We set ourselves up in a pretty special spot, here, and we need to make hay with it now.”

In addition to attending the NCAA Men’s Division I Final Four, Margenthaler’s was in Phoenix for the NABC’s board of directors meeting. Margenthaler has served on the board for the past 12 years. The transfer portal and Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) impact on the game were the top two issues being discussed.

“The NIL–we have six coaches right now, Power Five coaches, that aren’t here because they are brokering deals back home with their own players,” Margenthaler said. “That’s ridiculous.”

With coaches adjusting to the transfer portal, Margenthaler was asked about his ongoing program that brings transfers to the team.

“We want to be relevant every year, you have to jump in the transfer portal,” he said. “We are university unique–second largest university in the state; unbelievable facilities. We have everything Division I can give you, just not that Division I. But we can win national championships here.

“You can go to South Dakota State, North Dakota State, North Dakota, you might play in an NCAA tournament, but you’re not going to have an opportunity to win a national championship like you are in Mankato,” he added.

Asked about the “mythic March moment” that snatched the last-second championship for the Mavericks, Margenthaler again talked about the Willingham brothers.

“That was Willingham to Willingham for a national championship. That’s crazy,” Margenthaler said. “They grew up on the playgrounds of Waseca (Minn.) That town basically raised those two boys. They have a special heart. They care. They’re great with young kids. I can’t say enough about them.”

The coach concluded that a documentary started earlier this year on Malik, the national tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, comes out this summer. The title for the documentary: “Be Great.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *