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  • Originally posted by TheTrain View Post
    McCabe was one of the names I heard mentioned. I dont know if he's interested or not. Of note, he was Stirtz' top assistant before he went to Liberty North.
    Wonder if that’d increase the chances of Bennett(and Ja’Vion) staying?


    • Originally posted by TheTrain View Post

      This one feels like a "retire, resign, whatever but you are done here"
      Maybe...he hadn't been fired for 25 years...not sure what he would have done this year to change that...they've had some good wins.

      That being said...the new President told us he's a baseball it could be the case.


      • Comment

        • Scratch BW from list of possible NW candidates. Thought XK may go north with Ben..maybe he’s in the running for the NW job


          • Originally posted by NWFanatic View Post
            Is it unusual that there’s still nothing on the NW Athletic website about Ben being gone?
   would only offer something fairly generic at best. It's what they do. I would look forward to something far more in-depth coming from Wesley Miller, Managing Editor with the Northwest Missourian. Would really love to hear from some of the players about the team meeting HC Ben McCollum would have called to announce his accepting the Drake Bulldog head coaching position.


            • Article from the Maryville Daily Forum today.

              McCollum Delivers On 'New Heights' Promise

              Northwest Missouri State senior Trevor Hudgins fist-bumps coach Ben McCollum as he exits the game on March 3, 2022, against Rogers State in Kansas City.

              MARYVILLE, Mo. — It is like walking into a time capsule to go back and listen to Ben McCollum’s introductory press conference at Northwest Missouri State.

              The event was hosted by Bob Boerigter, who referenced Ben’s son Peyton as “a very energetic son,” and said that “probably about four weeks from today, he’ll be welcoming another Bearcat into the family.”

              That “energetic son” is now a junior in high school while that new Bearcat is Ben and Michelle McCollum’s other son, Tate, a freshman in high school. The McCollum family looks a little different now and has some new additions from the time when they first came to Maryville, but the men’s basketball program also looks quite different.

              McCollum opened that press conference by thanking his mentor and the winningest basketball coach in Bearcat history, Steve Tappmeyer.

              “Coach Tappmeyer obviously — hopefully I can carry on his strong tradition and take it to new heights,” McCollum said on March 31, 2009. “He has taught me a lot and hopefully I will carry that Bearcat tradition on.”

              Over the next 15 years, McCollum and the Bearcats would certainly reach those new heights with a 394-91 record, 12 MIAA Regular-Season Championships, eight MIAA Tournament
              Championships and four national championships.

              “I just try to compare who has put a run together at any level like he’s done and you can’t come up with anybody really,” Tappmeyer said. “It has been amazing.”

              Current tennis coach Mark Rosewell even asked a question during that first press conference and made the statement that Tappmeyer was pleased that McCollum was his successor.

              “He is special for sure,” Tappmeyer said of McCollum, the player. “Unbelievably tough guy as a player. Just mentally tough. … He was going to be successful at whatever he did and he just had a passion for coaching.”

              Northwest would eventually do something no other school has ever done and win three straight national titles. Tappmeyer points out that bad luck prevented it from being five or six in a row.

              “With all the success, you can still sit there and say ‘what if’ on a few different things,” Tappmeyer said. “The consistency is just unbelievable.”

              The Bearcat dynasty is alive and well with 11 straight MIAA Regular-Season Championships and counting as McCollum and his family leave to take on a new challenge at Drake University as a Division-I head coach.

              “The reason he stayed at Northwest for so long with all the success is just the special place that Northwest and Maryville as a town is,” former player and assistant coach Zach Schneider said. “He knew how good he and his family had it — not just with Northwest athletics, but with the town of Maryville. And there was just no reason to force a job just simply because it was labeled Division-I. I think it was always known that he would love to coach in the state of Iowa and love to coach Division-I basketball. … It was going to take a special job to get him away from Northwest and eventually one opened up.”

              But the road to getting the program to dynasty status wasn’t always easy, as longtime assistant coach Austin Meyer can attest.

              “He was nonstop,” Meyer said. “If we left the office at 7 o’clock, he’d call at 7:15 and say ‘hey, what about this kid?’ … It was just nonstop, doing whatever we could to get the players in there.

              “We were going to every damn high school game, every AAU tournament. It was a grind recruiting-wise those early years because you are trying to sell kids on that vision.”

              The first two seasons that McCollum led Northwest, the Bearcats combined to 22-31 and actually decreased from 12 wins to 10 wins in Year 2. But the building blocks were coming together.

              Those first two teams were led by point guard DeShaun Cooper, but as teammates would even say, the floor spacing early wasn’t what the modern-day Bearcat offenses look like.

              “Kyle Schlake and I probably won every shooting game we played our senior year at Northwest,” former post player Dillon Starzl said.

              McCollum did hit it big on the recruiting trail that first year, landing a trio of Kearney Bulldogs in Grant Cozad, Tyler Funk and Starzl. Starzl was the big fish, turning down multiple D-I opportunities to go to Northwest — including Drake.

              “Deshaun Cooper and Bryston Williams were my hosts,” Starzl said of his recruiting visit. “We got there and they were like, ‘What do you want to do?’ And I was like, ‘Let’s just go to the gym.’ … Right away it just felt like a family.

              “With Mac being the lead of it all, (we) could go in and win. I remember I think it was on my recruiting visit thinking we are going to win a national championship. That was the whole goal the whole time we were there.”

              With Cooper starring, Northwest went from 10 wins to 22 in 2012 and won the MIAA Championship. Cooper was injured the next season and despite 21 wins, Northwest was unable to repeat as conference champions. With Cooper back the next season, the Bearcats began the current 11-year run they enjoy.

              The next step was conquering the loaded Central Region. Northwest made the regional final in 2012, but fell in overtime to eventual national champion Central Missouri.

              With Cooper gone the next season, the question was what Northwest would look like without him. Justin Pitts had that answer. The new freshman played a different style than his predecessor but was dominant as well.

              “When it comes to X’s and O’s and knowing the game of basketball, McCollum is obviously really good,” former Northwest All-American and All-Big East Player at Creighton Ryan Hawkins said. “… He is going to do what he does best and just be a relentless competitor.”

              Northwest got back to the regional final the next two seasons, falling both times. As a junior, Pitts and the Bearcats wouldn’t be denied and finally hoisted the school’s first men’s basketball national championship.

              “We had those few years where we were knocking on the door with Sweet 16s, and then we finally got over the hump,” Meyer said. “To win that first one in 2017, I can remember when Pitts and Schneider — they were on a visit together and they were running pick-and-pop just on their own in pick-up when we were just evaluating them at Bearcat Arena. And it was like, ‘Oh man, this is a pretty good little combo here.’”

              They seemed poised to do it again Pitts’ senior year, but he broke his foot just before the NCAA regional.

              That set up another transition and the question of how McCollum could replace Pitts and Cooper. In stepped Trevor Hudgins and three national championships in his three seasons. His fourth season — his sophomore year — ended prematurely with the COVID-19 pandemic.

              “All those years, you were climbing the mountain — and at a certain point, they became the mountain,” Meyer said. “… Eleven conference championships in a row is just stupid.”

              McCollum spoke of “new heights” from the moment he got on campus as the Bearcats’ leader. He leaves as the standard for every Division-II basketball coach to strive for, having done things never before seen at this level of the game.

              “Northwest is a very proactive university,” McCollum said in 2009. “We always do things before any other school does them and other schools follow and react to what we are doing. That is what I try to do as a men’s head basketball coach — be very proactive.
              Last edited by ZubCat81; 04-04-2024, 10:03 PM.


              • Been following the Drake Nation Men's Basketball message board pretty close. They are talking now that Coach Mac just brought on Xavier Kurth as one of his assistant coaches. Anybody else getting wind of that?


                • No but surprised he’d sign Xavier and Bryston. I thought Xavier might apply for the NW job


                  • Hoping Ben’s successor is as good a find as Tapp’s was. Hopefully it’ll be more like Mel’s successor than AD’s.


                    • Heard a rumor Bennett won’t be back


                      • Looks like Isaiah and Daniel flew the coop too, and maybe others too. Cupboard would be pretty bare for who ever gets stuck following Ben. At least he can try to fill the roster with players for his style of play.


                        • Drake Bulldog HC Ben McCollum will have his first press conference Tuesday morning at 10am at the Knapp Center Arena on the Drake campus. Will be interesting to see what coaches and players show up. They are saying Drake Men's Basketball has a Facebook and YouTube page that will show the press conference.

                          Drake Men's Basketball
                          FaceBook page
                          Last edited by ZubCat81; 04-08-2024, 06:29 PM.


                          • Nice Drake Bulldog hype video welcoming Ben McCollum to Des Moines.

                            "One Chapter Ends. The Next Begins."


                            • Drake University press conference welcomes HC Ben McCollum and his family.

                              Note: The first 16 minutes is dead time. Start at 16:10.

                              Ben gets his NW Bearcat uniform #3 in Drake Blue.


                              • Drake Basketball Takeaways: New Head Coach Ben McCollum's Updates On Roster And Staff

                                Tommy Birch
                                Des Moines Register

                                New Drake basketball coach Ben McCollum was finishing his introductory press conference Tuesday when a question came from a fan in the audience.

                                The Bulldogs had been hit hard by the transfer portal after previous coach Darian DeVries left for West Virginia. The fan wanted to know why anyone would leave Drake.

                                “That’s a great question,” McCollum said with a smile. “I think you need to talk to them. See if you get that Tucker DeVries kid to stay.”

                                Ben McCollum, the new head coach of Drake Men's Basketball, meets with long time Southwest Missouri State fan Dennis Bunch during his introductory press conference Tuesday, April 9, 2024, at the Knapp Center in Des Moines.

                                The response earned a big round of laughs from the room full of McCollum's friends and family, along with fans of the Bulldogs. But the question is a big one for McCollum, who takes over a roster that has been gutted and is losing its biggest star in Darian DeVries’ son Tucker, who is headed to West Virginia. But McCollum said he’s already started to work toward building his first Drake team.

                                “It dominates a lot of time right now,” he said. “It’s a lot of sleepless nights and long days of phone calls.”

                                McCollum, who said he's already made multiple recruiting visits, will embrace the transfer portal and name, imagine and likeness rules. He said his main goal when recruiting players is to let
                                them know they can develop on and off the court under his tutelage.

                                "Our objective has always been to make kids successful once they leave the institution," McCollum said. "So, every recruiting pitch that we give, it is, 'Can we make you better because you played basketball at this institution?' And that will be the same here at Drake."

                                Could any of Drake’s players who have entered the portal come back? McCollum didn’t rule it out.

                                “I don’t think they want me to share…hopefully if one of them recommits, then you’ll know,” he told reporters following his press conference.

                                McCollum Not Ready To Announce His Drake Basketball Staff

                                The other big part of McCollum’s job is getting his first staff at Drake together. McCollum wasn’t ready to make any announcements about who would be on it yet. But he said he hopes to get it put together in the next week or so.

                                McCollum's Sons Could Be Stars In The Making As Well

                                Even though Drake lost Darian and Tucker DeVries, the Bulldogs have another strong father/son duo on the court. Both of McCollum's sons, Peyton (17) and Tate (14) are accomplished basketball players. They have yet to settle on a high school for the two in Iowa. But whatever school lands them will certainly get a big boost. Peyton McCollum has already generated some interest from colleges. Could he follow his dad to Drake like Tucker did with Darian? The new Drake coach was asked if he's recruiting his oldest son.

                                "He's getting pretty good," Ben McCollum said. "So, we'll see."

                                Tommy Birch, the Register's sports enterprise and features reporter, has been working at the newspaper since 2008. He's the 2018, 2020 and 2023 Iowa Sportswriter of the Year. Reach him at [email protected] or 515-284-8468.