Press release from Missouri State

Missouri State University has announced two additions to its 2007-08 athletics staff. David Collins has been named assistant men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach, while Jim Pendergrass has been added as director of basketball operations for women’s basketball, director of athletics Bill Rowe announced Wednesday.

Collins joins head coach Jack Steck’s staff after a successful stint as head coach of the Springfield Parkview High and Ozark High swimming and diving programs. Over the past two years, Collins helped increase participation in the two programs by 45 percent and, in 2007, coached state finalists on both the boy’s and girl’s side while guiding the Ozark girls to their top finish ever at the state meet.

An academic All-American while swimming collegiately at Drury University, Collins helped the Panthers to Division II national titles in 2003 and 2005 and national runner-up finishes in 2002 and 2004. The San Antonio, Texas, product earned a bachelor of arts in design arts in 2005 from DU, and has assisted Drury’s athletic department as a graduate assistant while working toward a master’s degree in communication. Collins has also served as manager of aquatic programs at Springfield’s Hickory Hills Country Club since 2006, during which time he has coached over 60 children while directing the club’s swimming program.

Pendergrass returns for third tour of duty with the Missouri State women’s basketball program after spending the past four seasons on coach Cheryl Burnett’s staff at Michigan. No stranger to women’s basketball in the Ozarks, Pendergrass got his start in college basketball working as a student manager for the Lady Bears from 1992-96 while earning his teaching certificate from Missouri State. He later returned to serve as an administrative assistant on the MSU women’s staff for two seasons (1998-2000), following a stint as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Southwest Baptist University. The Norwood, Mo., native then moved on to the high school coaching ranks, making local stops at Crane, where he served as varsity girls head coach, and Springfield Kickapoo (assistant coach), before reuniting with Burnett at Michigan in 2003.

As director of basketball operations, Pendergrass will oversee film exchange, academic monitoring and equipment operations, while coordinating team travel arrangements and assisting with Lady Bear Basketball Camp operations for new MSU head coach Nyla Milleson’s program.