Head Coach Todd Eisner
Beginning his 21st season as a head coach at the college level and fourth year leading the men’s basketball program at Winona State University is Todd Eisner. Under Eisner’s guidance, the Warriors have an overall record of 46-39 and have finished in the top five of the challenging 16-team NSIC in two of his first three seasons. Last year the Warriors showed marked improvement in the win column, finishing with an overall record of 19-10 and 14-8 in NSIC play.
Eisner has amassed an impressive career head coaching record of 463-205 (.693 winning percentage), which includes stops at Viterbo (WI) University, Bellevue (NE) University, Benedictine (KS) College, Midland (NE) University and Winona State University.
Eisner received his first head coaching opportunity in 1995 at Viterbo University at the age of 27. During his four years in La Crosse, the V-Hawks won 79 games, won the Midwest Classic Conference regular season championship in 1998 and the MCC Tournament title in 1999, which advanced his team to the NAIA Division II National Tournament. The unseeded V-Hawks won their first two games at nationals before falling in the Elite Eight.
From 2000-2008 Eisner was the head coach at Bellevue University, another NAIA Division II school. Taking over a program that had won just eight games the previous year, the Bruins had an immediate turnaround, winning the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles in his first season, advancing to the NAIA Division II National Tournament.
From there the Bruins turned into one of the most successful NAIA programs in the country. Eisner’s Bellevue teams averaged over 28 wins per season, won 6 regular season MCAC titles, 5 conference tournament championships and qualified for the NAIA Division II National Tournament a total of seven times. The 2003-2004 and 2007-2008 teams advanced all the way to the NAIA Division II National Championship Game.
Following the 2008 national runner-up season, Eisner had an opportunity to return to his alma mater, Creighton University, as an assistant coach. Working for current University of Oregon head coach, Dana Altman, the Bluejays captured a share of the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship in 2009 and played in the NIT. This was Eisner’s second stint as an assistant coach at Creighton, as he also served in that capacity from 1991-1994 after he completed his playing career.
Eisner became the head coach at Benedictine College in 2010 after the two seasons back at his alma mater. During his one season in Atchison, he helped improve the Ravens to a fourth-place finish in league play and host a first-round conference tournament game. Their recruiting efforts in his one season at “BC” helped set the foundation for the future as Benedictine won the Heart of America Athletic Conference regular season title in 2013-2014.
In 2011, Eisner returned to the Omaha area to take over the program at Midland University, another NAIA Division II program that had fallen on hard times. The Warriors had won eight games in the previous season and five games the year before that. In Eisner’s first year at Midland, the program set a school record for most wins in a season with 19, finishing in fourth place in the challenging Great Plains Athletic Conference.
In year two at Midland, the Warriors received an at-large bid to the NAIA Division II National Tournament after finishing the regular season with an 18-11 overall record and third place finish in the GPAC. With no expectations, Eisner led the Midland to wins in their first two games at the national tournament and lost a heartbreaker in the Elite Eight to the No.1-ranked team in the country on a last-second shot. The Warriors finished the season with an overall record of 21-13.
The 2013-2014 season was one for the record books at Midland University. Eisner again led his squad to the NAIA Division II National Tournament where the Warriors advanced all the way to the NAIA Division II National Championship Game. Midland finished the year with an overall record of 30-6 and Eisner was named the Rawlings NAIA Division II National Coach of the Year.
In his final year at Midland University, Eisner led the Warriors to the GPAC Tournament Championship, an overall record of 26-8 and their third straight bid to the NAIA Division II National Tournament. Midland had only qualified for the NAIA National Tournament twice in their school history prior to his arrival in 2011.
He is the only coach in NAIA history to lead three different programs to the Elite Eight of the men’s basketball national tournament and the only coach in NAIA Division II history to lead two different programs to the National Championship Game.
A 1991 graduate of Creighton University with a double major in finance and business management, Eisner was an integral part of two Missouri Valley Conference championships and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 1989 and 1991. He led the MVC in three-point field goal percentage during the 1988-1989 season and was named a captain of the Bluejays the following season.
The Chilton, Wisconsin native played high school ball for his father, Jim, where the Tigers won the 1986 Class B state championship his senior year. Eisner finished his four-year varsity career with 1,840 points.
Eisner was enshrined in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Chilton High School Wall of Honor last fall in recognition of his playing career. He was also inducted into the Bellevue University Hall of Fame in 2017.
Eisner resides in Winona with his wife, Andrea, who is a principal in the Winona Area Public School district.