Nighthawks Announce Coaching Change

National Park College (NPC) has announced a change to its head coaching staff for men’s basketball this week.

Coach Dillon Hargrove sitting in a chair next to his Nighthawk playersPerryville native Dillon Hargrove has been promoted to head coach of Nighthawk men’s basketball. Hargrove served as assistant basketball coach at Little Priest Tribal College (Winnebago, NE) before joining NPC, where he served as assistant men’s basketball coach for two years and head baseball coach for the Nighthawks this season. Hargrove becomes the second head men’s basketball coach for the Nighthawks since the program’s 2017 debut.

"I am very excited about the position and want to thank our athletic director, Jason Hudnell, and I want to also thank our President, Dr. John Hogan, for the opportunity," Hargrove said. "I had a great opportunity to start up the baseball program this year and we were able to build a good, solid foundation for that program in year one. I am looking forward to focusing on the basketball program, building a great culture, having high academics and being involved in the community of Hot Springs. I appreciate the great fanbase that this community shows Nighthawk athletics. I look forward to getting back to work and being back in the Kettle in August. Get ‘em Hawks."

"I could not be more excited about the future of Nighthawks Athletics and, in particular, about having CoachAthletic Director, Jason Hudnell walking the sideline on the basketball court clapping his hands. Hargrove lead our men's basketball program," NPC Athletic Director Jason Hudnell said. "This has been the plan all along once we brought Coach Hargrove on staff in the fall of 2018. He brings a tenacity in recruiting and a tremendous basketball mind that our young men and community alike will appreciate. Coach Hargrove has been a huge part of the success we have had in men's basketball the past two seasons. He has become part of the Nighthawk Family and a friend to me personally. I look forward to the 2020-2021 basketball season under his leadership."

Hargrove succeeds Hudnell, who has served as head men’s basketball coach since 2017. Hudnell will continue to serve as NPC’s Athletic Director and head cross country coach while assisting with men’s and women’s basketball for the 2020-2021 season.

“This is a move that I have been contemplating for some time and, honestly, it is a bittersweet moment," Hudnell said. "The past three seasons have been incredibly enjoyable. The opportunity I have had to coach these young men and hopefully have a positive impact in their lives is one I will forever cherish. Everyone who has ever come through our program has my number and they know I will help them in any way I can from now until forever."

Behind Hudnell, Nighthawks men’s basketball rose to prominence quickly as a club team with a 13-5 record before joining the NJCAA in 2018, where NPC amassed a 34-18 record over two seasons. In 2020, NPC finished as a semifinalist in the NJCAA Region II Division II tournament.

"I will still be very involved in both the men's and women's basketball programs," Hudnell said. "My role will be more administrative in nature as I meet the operational needs of our programs. I will also continue my role as head coach for men and women cross country. This will allow me to focus more attention on our athletic program as a whole. My goal is to become the premiere NJCAA athletic program in our region. I believe our board, administration, faculty, staff and students along with a beautiful campus have us positioned to be the envy of junior colleges across the state and region. I am actively planning now as to how we can continue to grow and expand Nighthawks Athletics. I believe our student body and community are going to be excited and eager to get behind the Nighthawks in the days to come."

With Hargrove’s promotion to head men’s basketball coach, he will not continue as head baseball coach for the Nighthawks. An announcement regarding NPC’s head baseball coach vacancy will be made soon.

For more information on schedules, rosters and more, visit Nighthawks Basketball. Fans can also follow the Nighthawks on social media.

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