SVSU Head Coach Randy Baruth will be entering his sixth season at the helm of the program in the 2017-18 campaign. The Cardinals are coming off a 17-win season, which marks the first time that the program has had at least 17 wins for three straight years. C.J. Turnage was named First Team All-GLIAC for his performance for the third time in his career and Wade Gelhaus was named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team as well.
The 2015-16 season, Coach Baruth's fourth at SVSU, matched the program's record for most wins at 25 and was the team's first-ever NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearance. The Cardinals posted a 25-8 overall record and 18-4 record in the GLIAC. The team claimed the GLIAC Regular Season Championship for the first time at the NCAA Division II level. The team's back-to-back 20-plus winning seasons were the most since the 1984-85 and 85-86 seasons. Damon Bozeman and C.J. Turnage both earned All-GLIAC First Team and Garrett Hall earned Second Team. Baruth earned GLIAC Coach of the Year honors in the league for the first time as well.
In the 2014-15 season, SVSU posted a 21-9 overall record, including a 16-6 mark in the GLIAC. The 16 victories were a new program record for the team. The Cardinals qualified for the 2015 GLIAC Tournament as the #4 seed, where they defeated Findlay for the team's first victory in the tournament and berth in the semifinals since the 1996-97 season.
Over the span of the season, SV rattled-off 13 consecutive victories, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since the 1989-90 season and the most since the program has been in D-II. The Cards led the league in field goal percentage with a mark of 47.3%. Under the coaching staff's guidance, Kellen Smith set a single-season record with 177 assists and was named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team as well. Smith finished 15th nationally with 5.9 assists-per-game. C.J. Turnage earned All-GLIAC First Team honors while Damon Bozeman and Garrett Hall garnered All-GLIAC Second Team plaudits.
With the team's success came a surge in attendance at games as well, as the Cardinals drew more than 1,000 fans to James E. O'Neill Jr. Arena three times, including a school record 1,832 against Northwood University.
The 2013-14 season for head coach Randy Baruth saw him develop a young roster into a competitive team. With only one senior and six freshman on the roster, coach Baruth managed to put the Cardinals in position to win on a nightly basis with a strong defense. In the conference, SVSU gave up the fewest three-point baskets made (153) and held opponents to the second worst three-point field goal percentage (32.8) on the year, while tying for third best in forced turnovers per game (13.5). Coach Baruth also mentored freshman forward C.J. Turnage's breakout year and "Freshman of the Year" accolades. For the season, Turnage averaged 16.9 points per game, good for ninth in the conference, as well as a GLIAC-best 64.2% field goal percentage, which is the highest field goal percentage by an SVSU player since the 2008-09 season. With eight losses coming by an average of only five points, the future is bright for the SVSU basketball team and coach Baruth is poised to improve upon this year's success in the upcoming seasons.
In 2012-13 he helped lead the Cardinals to a near GLIAC Tournament appearance in his first season on the bench. Senior guard Chris Webb was selected to the All-GLIAC First Team and All-Defensive team, while senior Brett Beland was named to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Collegiate Academic-Athletic Team.
Throughout his 11 seasons in college basketball, Baruth has been a part of success at numerous collegiate levels. Baruth has spent time at the University of Utah as the Director of Player Development under head coach, and former NBA player and coach, Larry Krystkowiak. Before his stint with the Utes, he was the Director of Basketball Operations at Colorado State University under then head coach Tim Miles. Baruth is very familiar with NCAA Division II basketball, spending 7 years as an assistant at Northern State University and North Dakota State University.
While at Northern State University (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference), he was the top assistant to then head coach Don Meyer. Meyer is ranked 2nd all-time in victories in men’s college basketball history with 923 career wins. While at Northern State University, the Wolves had 4 NCAA Division II tournament appearances in 5 years. Two of the 4 appearances resulted in Sweet Sixteen losses to the ultimate National Champion, Winona State University. The 2007-08 team earned a No. 4 national ranking while the 2008-09 team earned a No. 10 national ranking.
During his tenure at North Dakota State University, Baruth was the recruiting coordinator for the men’s basketball program. The 2006 recruiting class went on to make the Bison’s first NCAA Division I tournament appearance in school history. Members of the 2006 class that Baruth recruited included: Wisconsin Mr. Basketball and North Dakota State University 7th all-time leading scorer, Michael Nelson; Minnesota Class 3A Player of the Year and North Dakota State University’s all-time leading scorer, Ben Woodside; Minnesota 1st Team All-State, Brett Winkleman; and North Dakota Mr. Basketball, Lucas Moorman.
A native of Alpena, South Dakota, Baruth was a 1996 South Dakota Mr. Basketball Finalist. He went on to play at Mount Marty College (1996-1997) and Dakota Wesleyan University (1997-2000) while earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Baruth earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at North Dakota State University. Randy and his wife Meghan have been married for six years.