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In The Know: David Arseneault Sr.


David Arseneault Sr. is the celebrated head coach of the Pioneers, the record-breaking basketball team of Iowa’s Grinnell College, since 1989.

Arseneault is known for espousing what he calls “The System,” which consists of five key components for scoring high in a basketball game.

These components include: Taking 25 more shots than the opposition; taking at least 94 shots; attempting three points for a least half of these shots; rebounding a third of missed shots, and forcing the other team to turn it over 32 times.

Arseneault derived these keys from a student project he had directed.

Under “The System,” Grinnell has won three conference championships over the past decade. The team also consistently placed in the top half of the conference while setting numerous National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) scoring records.

During the 2001-2002 campaign, the team averaged previous NCAA record marks of 124.9 points per game and 20.4 three-pointers per contest. In the 2003-2004 season, the Pioneers led the country in scoring with a then NCAA record of 126.2 points per game.

Several Pioneers players also set records with their scores. In 1998, Jeff Clement set a record with 77 points, which was surpassed in 2011 by another Pioneers player, Griffin Lentsch, who scored 89 points.

In response to requests by other coaches, Arseneault published a book called “The Running Game—A Formula for Success.”

He also produced the instructional videos, “Running To Extremes” and “Running to Win,” in which he explained his unique style.

Arseneault has been awarded the Midwest Conference Coach of the Year five times and has led the Pioneers to 10 postseason appearances and five Midwest Conference Championships.

Arseneault received his bachelor’s degree in administrative science from Colby College in 1976 and a master’s degree in education from Brock University in 1985.

He is currently on a sabbatical leave from the college this semester. He has been replaced by his son, David Arsenault Jr., who serves as interim head coach. Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research

Sources: grinnell.edu, ncaa.org


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