Tony Nixon scores a game-high 14 points as NIU snaps nine-game MAC Tournament losing streak
Jon Borovich joined the Northern Illinois men’s basketball staff on April 5, 2011, becoming the first addition to head coach Mark Montgomery’s staff. Prior to his arrival in DeKalb, Borovich had spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Dayton.
In his first season at NIU, Borovich helped guide one of the youngest teams in the nation to the program’s first MAC Tournament victory since 2003, defeating MAC West Champion Eastern Michigan in the opening round of the conference tournament to advance to Cleveland. NIU saw 55.9 percent of its minutes played by freshmen during the 2011-12 season, the sixth-highest percentage in the country, and the Huskies lead the MAC in offensive rebounds while ranking second in rebounding defense and third in rebounding margin.
Year two saw NIU continue to build the foundation of the program with the fourth-least experienced team in the country. The Huskies achieved a number of milestone victories in 2012-13, including the program’s first win at Miami (Ohio) since 1981, its first win at Central Michigan since 2006 and its first victory over Kent State since 2003.
During the 2013-14 season, the Huskies engineered the largest single-season win improvement in school history, and the 10th-largest nationally for the season, recording a 10-win improvement, going 15-17, NIU’s most victories since the 2005-06 season.
Despite having the second-least experienced team in the MAC, NIU posted its most non-conference wins, six, since 1999-2000 and its most home wins, 10, 1994-95; NIU closed the season with a five-game home winning streak. The Huskies also recorded their first top-50 RPI win, Toledo on Feb. 26, since December 14, 1999 (Wisconsin).
NIU earned the No. 7 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, earning a first round home game for the first time since 2003, while advancing to Cleveland for the second time in three seasons. Jordan Threloff earned All-MAC honorable mention recognition and Aaric Armstead was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team.
The Huskies continued to make strides during the 2014-15 season, Borovich’s fourth at NIU. The Huskies posted a 14-16 record playing against a strength of schedule ranked 147th in the nation, NIU’s best since 2004-05. Playing in a much-improved MAC, NIU posted an RPI of 188, the school’s best since 2005-06.
The 2014-15 Huskies opened the season with six-straight home wins, tying a school-record with 11 consecutive home victories dating back to 2013-14. NIU posted its first winning non-conference record since 2005-06 and the Huskies also finished the season strong, winning each of their last four regular season games, including a win at Toledo, NIU’s first win over Western Michigan since 2010 and a victory over MAC regular season champion Central Michigan.
As an assistant at Dayton, Borovich helped the Flyers advance to the postseason in each of the past four seasons. In his first season, 2007-08, Dayton started 14-1 and climbed to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll, the highest ranking for the program in 40 years. The next season, Dayton was again nationally-ranked and finished with a 27-8 record, including a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2009-10, Borovich helped UD win 25 games and the NIT Championship, the first NIT crown for the program since 1968. In his final season on the Flyer staff, 2010-11,Dayton finished with a 22-14 mark, reaching the championship game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament and advancing to the NIT.
Borovich began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State from 2001-03. He then spent two seasons, 2003-05, at Dayton as the Director of Basketball Operations. After working as an assistant coach at Oakland University for two years from 2005-07, Borovich returned to Dayton in 2007 in an assistant coaching role.
During his two seasons at Oakland, the Golden Grizzlies won 30 games. In Borovich's second year, Oakland compiled a 19-14 mark, the most wins for the school since joining Division I in 1997. Borovich helped the Golden Grizzlies recruit a class that, as juniors and seniors, went 34-2 in the Summit League and appeared in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments.
A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Borovich assisted in video analysis as a graduate assistant at Michigan State while completing his master's degree in athletics administration. He then followed Michigan State assistant coach Brian Gregory to Dayton, where he was the Director of Basketball Operations for two seasons. In his first year, the Flyers won the Maui Invitational, reached the NCAA Tournament and finished with a 24-9 overall record.
Borovich played collegiately at Central Michigan from 1997-2001, while NIU head coach Mark Montgomery was working as an assistant coach for the Chippewas. As a senior, Borovich was a part of CMU's Mid-American Conference championship team that finished with 20 wins, the most for the school since the 1986-87 season.
He earned his bachelor's degree in sports studies from Central Michigan in 2001, with a double minor in psychology and coaching. Borovich was a team captain for the Chippewas as a junior and senior while also earning Academic All-MAC honors as a senior.