Jim Molinari

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Jim Molinari
Current position
TitleAssistant Coach
ConferenceBig 12
Biographical details
Born (1954-12-26) December 26, 1954 (age 64)
Playing career
1973–1975Kansas State
1975–1977Illinois Wesleyan
Position(s)Point guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1979–1989DePaul (assistant)
1989–1991Northern Illinois
2004–2006Minnesota (assistant)
2006–2007Minnesota (interim HC)
2007–2008Ball State (assistant)
2008–2014Western Illinois
2014–2019Nebraska (assistant)
2019–presentOklahoma (assistant)
Head coaching record
Tournaments0–2 (NCAA Division I)
4–5 (NIT)
0–2 (CBI)
Accomplishments and honors
2 MCC/Summit regular season (1991, 2013)
MCC Tournament (1991)
MVC regular season (1996)
MVC Coach of the Year (1996)
Summit League Coach of the Year (2013)

James R. Molinari (born December 26, 1954) is an American basketball coach and lawyer. Molinari is an assistant coach at Oklahoma. He formerly served as an assistant coach at Nebraska[1] and as former head coach of the Western Illinois University Leathernecks, where he served from 2008 to 2014. Prior to being named coach at WIU, Molinari was as assistant coach at Ball State University after serving as the interim head coach at the University of Minnesota, replacing Dan Monson on November 30, 2006 and being succeeded by Tubby Smith on March 22, 2007.[2] Previously, he served as head men's basketball coach at Northern Illinois University and Bradley University. He also was a scout for the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat.

Molinari graduated from Glenbard West High School, where he starred on its varsity boys' basketball team.[3] He first attended Kansas State from 1973 to 1975, lettering twice for Jack Hartman's Wildcats. A 6'1" (1.85 meters) guard who wore uniform number 30, he appeared in 22 games, including a 95–87 defeat to Syracuse in the NCAA East Regional Final at the Providence Civic Center on March 22, 1975.[4]

Molinari graduated from the DePaul University College of Law, earning his juris doctor in 1980.[5] He passed the Bar Exam.[5] Molinari spent eleven seasons as an assistant coach for both Ray and Joey Meyer at DePaul University. He accepted the head coaching job at Bradley University on April 12, 1991.[6]

Molinari and his ex-wife Carol are the parents of four children. Two went on to play college basketball. Billy played at Western Illinois University under Molinari. David played one year at Illinois Wesleyan University and walked onto DePaul for the 2014–2015 season.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Northern Illinois Huskies (NCAA Division I independent) (1989–1990)
1989–90 Northern Illinois 17–11
Northern Illinois Huskies (Mid-Continent Conference) (1990–1991)
1990–91 Northern Illinois 25–6 14–2 1st NCAA Division I First Round
Northern Illinois: 42–17 (.712) 14–2 (.875)
Bradley Braves (Missouri Valley Conference) (1991–2002)
1991–92 Bradley 7–23 3–15 9th
1992–93 Bradley 11–16 7–11 7th
1993–94 Bradley 23–8 14–4 2nd NIT Quarterfinal
1994–95 Bradley 20–10 12–6 4th NIT Second Round
1995–96 Bradley 22–8 15–3 1st NCAA Division I First Round
1996–97 Bradley 17–13 12–6 2nd NIT Second Round
1997–98 Bradley 15–14 9–9 5th
1998–99 Bradley 17–12 11–7 2nd NIT First Round
1999–00 Bradley 14–16 10–8 5th
2000–01 Bradley 19–12 12–6 2nd NIT First Round
2001–02 Bradley 9–20 5–13 8th
Bradley: 174–152 (.534) 110–88 (.556)
Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big Ten Conference) (2006–2007)
2006–07 Minnesota 7–17[n 1] 3–13 9th
Minnesota: 7–17 (.292) 3–13 (.188)
Western Illinois Leathernecks (Summit League) (2008–2014)
2008–09 Western Illinois 9–20 6–12 T–8th
2009–10 Western Illinois 13–17 6–12 T–7th
2010–11 Western Illinois 7–23 2–16 9th
2011–12 Western Illinois 18–15 9–9 T–4th CBI First Round
2012–13 Western Illinois 22–7 13–3 T–1st CBI First Round
2013–14 Western Illinois 10–20 4–10 7th
Western Illinois: 79–104 (.432) 40–62 (.392)
Total: 302–290 (.510)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ Molinari was named interim head coach upon the firing of Dan Monson on November 30, 2006 and coached the remainder of the season.


  1. ^ Nebraska Cornhuskers men's basketball
  2. ^ GopherSports.com Archived July 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ DePaul University 1986–87 Men's Basketball Media Guide.
  4. ^ 2011–12 Kansas State University Men's Basketball Media Guide.
  5. ^ a b http://www.bradley.edu/athletics/MBB/archive/2000-2001/headcoach.html
  6. ^ Strom, Rich "Molinari Takes New Challenge" Chicago Tribune, Saturday, April 13, 1991