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Published: Thursday, 1/13/2005

Joplin No. 2 on Toledo win list

UT coach Stan Joplin talks with his team during last night's game. UT coach Stan Joplin talks with his team during last night's game.

History will have to wait - all University of Toledo coach Stan Joplin was concerned about last night was getting a win.

He got it when the Rockets pounded out a 77-67 victory over Ball State at Savage Hall, but since it was win No. 143 for Joplin, it moved him past Harold Anderson and into second place for the most wins by a UT coach.

Joplin trails only Bob Nichols, his coach during his playing days at Toledo, on the Rockets' all-time wins list.

"Down the road, it will mean a lot more," Joplin said, "but it's an honor any time something like that happens. You have to be appreciative of it, and it's nice to move into a category where I'm right behind coach Nichols."

Despite the statistical significance of the game, its meaning at the moment was more important to Joplin. His Rockets, the preseason favorites to win the Mid-American Conference West Division title and the MAC tournament crown, have been mired in the doldrums for a good portion of the first seven weeks and needed the win to pull even at 2-2 in the MAC.

"That part of it was crucial, because we didn't want to fall to 1-3," Joplin said.

Joplin, who has had six winning seasons and two 20-win seasons in his eight seasons at UT, said nothing has come easy this time around for the Rockets.

"With our nonleague schedule, and not having any home games, it has been hard for us to build any confidence," Joplin said. "Nothing gives you confidence more than a win."

Joplin ranks 12th in total victories on the all-time MAC coaches list. Nichols is No. 1 with 376.

As a player, Joplin started for Toledo teams that posted a combined record of 82-27. He returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach from 1984-90. Now in his ninth year as coach, Joplin is tied with Miami's Charlie Coles for the longest current tenure on a MAC sideline.

Joplin owns wins over nationally ranked teams from Michigan State and Cincinnati while at UT, and his teams also have defeated Ohio State and Xavier.

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