Jay Lawson

The Bentley University men’s basketball program has been a model of consistency over the decades & much of this can be attributed to the leadership of Lawson.

At a time when the Northeast-10 Conference has grown into the nation’s deepest and most competitive league, Lawson and his staff have provided the teams with exceptional continuity and direction.

Under his guidance, the Falcons have achieved winning records in 26 of 28 seasons (including 17 straight from 1996-2012) and have an overall record of 543-280 (.660). Since the 2000-01 season, Bentley has a conference-best .684 winning percentage in regular season Northeast-10 games.

From 2005-12, Bentley averaged 26 wins per season with Division II’s third highest winning percentage (.803) over that span. The Falcons have won seven of the last 15 Northeast-10 regular season championships (including an unprecedented five straight from 2005-09 and a Northeast Division title in 2016), have reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen six times since 2005 and have competed in three Elite Eights since 2007, including two national semifinal games.

Included during that time frame were the two best seasons in the program’s, and the conference’s, history. From 2006-08, Bentley posted a combined 66-2 record, made the first two Elite Eight trips in the program’s history, twice extended the record for longest winning streak in New England annals, and broke a 63-year-old Division II national record for longest regular season winning streak, finishing the 2007-08 season with 54 straight.

The phenomenal two-year stretch began during the 2006-07 season when the Falcons won their first 32 games before losing in the Elite Eight to reigning national champion Winona State, which was also undefeated at the time. The Bentley win streak broke the New England record of 29, set by a Bob Cousy-led Holy Cross team 57 years earlier. Other special achievements included the NE-10 regular season and playoff championships as well as the program’s first NCAA Division II Northeast Regional title. Bentley also became the first NE-10 team to achieve a 22-0 conference record and spent the final five weeks of the season ranked #2 nationally.

What happened the next season was even more amazing. The 2007-08 Falcons actually improved on the incredible achievements from the previous year! This time they won their first 34 games en route to the Elite Eight and along the way again won the NE-10 regular season championship, the conference playoffs and a second consecutive Northeast Regional crown.