Scott Blum, who is set to begin his ninth season as Grace's women's basketball coach, is fresh off putting the final touches on Grace's finest season in program history.
In 2011-12, Blum's Lady Lancers accomplished their first winning season since 1991-92, and they recorded their first 20-win season when they finished with a 20-15 record.
During much of the course of the 2011-12 campaign, Grace also appeared in the NAIA Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll -- another first for the Lady Lancers.
In 2010-11, Blum led Grace to its first .500-season since 1992. As a result, he was named the NCCAA All-Region Coach of the Year in 2011.
Blum has also led the Lady Lancers to four straight appearances in the NCCAA National Championships, including a team-best third-place finish in 2012.
Blum has a very special spot in the history of Grace Basketball as a player, as well. As a starting guard in the early 1990s, he was an NAIA All-American and NCCAA Player of the Year. He was also a major component in the men’s basketball team’s national championship in 1992 under Coach Jim Kessler.
In high school, Blum scored 1,576 career points at Oregon-Davis and became the only player to have his number retired in school history. He then played two seasons at NCAA Div. I Valparaiso University before transferring to Grace for his final two seasons, where he led the Lancers to a 59-11 record. Blum graduated from Grace in 1993.
While his playing pedigree is exemplary, Blum has also shown he knows how to work the sideline as well. In his first stint as an interim head coach at Indiana Wesleyan University in 1995, Blum led the men's team to the NCCAA National Championship. He also spent four years as the men's head coach at Trinity International in Chicago and at Lakewood Park Christian School in Auburn, Ind. He also spent two years as an assistant coach for Grace’s men’s basketball team.
Blum and his wife Michelle have three boys: Tanner, Connor, and Asher. He is also a professor in the physical education department at Grace.
Skip Forbes enters his seventh season with the women's basketball team as an assistant coach.
Forbes has been involved with Grace basketball in different capacities over the past four decades. He served as the men's assistant coach for over a decade from 1983 to 1995. He has a national championship on his résumé with the men’s NAIA National Championship team in 1992.
Forbes earned an engineering degree at Broome College and was a longtime religious studies professor at Grace prior to retirement. He and his wife Carol reside in Winona Lake, Ind.
Jen Birch is set to continue her role as assistant coach with Grace’s women’s basketball team.
Birch is a Grace graduate who was a two-sport athlete for the Lady Lancers. Birch played both basketball and soccer for Grace during her career.
After graduation from Grace, Birch started teaching special education at Manchester Intermediate School. She currently works as a sixth-grade science teacher at Manchester.
Birch has also served as an assistant basketball coach at Whitko High School.
She lives in Manchester, Ind., with her husband Nathaniel.
Hannah Lengel joins the Lady Lancers’ staff for her first season. She comes fresh off a standout career for Grace in which she was a four-year starter at the point guard position.
Lengel scored over 1,000 points in her four years and is one of only two Lady Lancers to tally 1,000 points and 300 assists in a career. She finished her time in a Grace uniform with 1,009 points and 309 assists (fifth all-time). Lengel’s name also appears near the top of the free throw records as she holds the second-highest career (83.2 percent) and single-season (89.1 percent) free throw percentages.
During her career, Lengel helped pace Grace to an improved record each season, culminating with the team’s best season in program history in 2011-12.
The Lady Lancers achieved their first 20-win season and were ranked in the NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll for much of the season.
She was also an academic standout who garnered NAIA Scholar-Athlete and CoSIDA Academic All-District honors during her career.
Lengel graduated from Grace in 2012 with a degree in Business Administration and Sport Management. She currently lives in Winona Lake, Ind.