Hank Plona’s first three Indian Hills teams have posted a remarkable overall record of 91-11 and qualified for three consecutive trips to the NJCAA national tournament. Each squad won the regular-season and postseason conference championships and the last two also claimed the district title.
The Warriors have been good both at home and on the road under Plona, sporting a 59-4 record at the Hellyer Center that includes a perfect 21-0 mark in 2017-18, and winning 32 road contests. His record against the other four league foes is 28-2 including the postseason.
Two of Plona's IHCC teams have averaged over 90 points a game, including a 95.7 scoring average his initial season. Plona has emphasized three-point shooting as part of his offense and his squads have responded with the second- and third-most made 3s in program history. At Indian Hills Plona has coached three All-Americans and 14 All-Region performers and he has earned coach of the year honors three times.
In his first season as a head coach, Plona directed Indian Hills to a 29-5 record and they matched that in his second year, another 29-5 season that again culminated in qualifying for the national tourney. In 2017-18 Plona's squad had an undefeated 30-0 regular season, was ranked No. 1 in the country in the final three national polls and was the top seed at the national tournament where they lost a heartbreaking overtime game in their first contest.
With Plona at the helm, Indian Hills has been nationally-ranked in 36 of 37 polls over the past three years.
Plona, an assistant coach at IHCC back in the 2010-11 season, was tapped to be the new head basketball coach for the Warriors in April 2015. His return to Indian Hills came after four seasons at one of the top two-year programs in the country, South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, where he was an assistant under Hall of Fame coach Steve Green.
South Plains made three national tournament appearances in those four years, winning the national title with an undefeated record in 2011-12 and losing in overtime in the championship game of the 2015 tourney.
The Texans were 116-21 during Plona's time on the sidelines and two of the losses, both by a point, came in head-to-head matchups with Indian Hills. The Warriors defeated SPC in the quarterfinals of the national tournament in 2014, and then nipped South Plains on a last-second shot in a regular season contest the next season at the Hellyer Center.
"It's no secret that Indian Hills has as great a basketball tradition as any two-year school in the country," Plona stated. "The success they've had speaks for itself and I know it's certainly a place where you can compete at the highest level, and try to win a national championship every year."
Plona joined the IHCC coaching staff as an assistant coach for the 2010-11 season, a year when the Warriors finished 23-10. Before coming to Indian Hills for his first stint with the Warriors, he spent a year as an assistant at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.
The alumnus of Providence College served as an undergraduate student manager and a graduate assistant coach under Keno Davis while at PC. He holds both a bachelors and a masters of business administration degree from the Rhode Island school.