Jason Durst, head men's basketball coach at Hannibal-LaGrange University, was named the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Coach of Character Award winner, the conference announced Tuesday morning.

Jason Durst, head men's basketball coach at Hannibal-LaGrange University, was named the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Coach of Character Award winner, the conference announced Tuesday morning. 

The Coach of Character Award recognizes a head coach who is dedicated to deliberately teaching character through sport. 

"As a Coach of Significance, it's my goal to conduct myself as a professional and use the abilities that God has given me to impact those under my leadership," said Durst. "As a coach, I want to create an environment where student-athletes maximize their personal potential and achieve their life goals."

Each year, Coach Durst emphasizes character development. He intentionally wants to create and promote character-building opportunities for all the student-athletes. One of the team building activities that Coach Durst and his team does is titled "You Matter." In this activity, Coach Durst has a handout that talks about the important role their daily walk plays in their character development. He uses five statements that define why their actions and words matter in their daily activities. He also includes Bible verses the help support and brings meaning to these five statements. 

"I find that by challenging my student-athletes to consider their daily actions, it brings character building together with their daily walk," said Durst. "It also helps create some accountability among our team, as we observe each other's actions daily in the classroom, on the court, and around our campus community."

Under Jason's leadership, it's clear that modeling integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership is at the foundation of why he is a college basketball coach.

"I have seen how Jason has displayed a genuine desire to become the coach God wants him to be," said Jason Nichols, Hannibal-LaGrange athletics director. "Jason is always striving to be shaped into a coach of character and will continue to as long as he has the platform of coaching to invest in lives."

"As a coach, I am committed to building well-rounded student-athletes through the emphasis of spiritual growth, academic excellence, and athletic performance," said Durst. "Through these ideals, I want to instill discipline, leadership, and faith into my student-athletes. As a professional, I want to use my position as a coach to further the educational, career and life opportunities for those student-athletes who are under my guidance."

Coach Durst is now eligible for the NAIA Coach of Character award, which will be announced publicly during the NAIA National Awards Day in September. The winner will be presented with a certificate and recognized at an annual function in conjunction with the NAIA National Convention.