Former Northwest Missouri State University basketball player Ben McCollum will be introduced as the head men’s basketball coach of the Bearcats in a press conference starting at noon Tuesday.
McCollum will become the 20th head coach in the 95-year history of Northwest men’s basketball. He replaces Steve Tappmeyer who announced his retirement earlier this month following 21 years of service.
McCollum, a 2003 graduate of Northwest, played for Tappmeyer during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. The Bearcats were 51-12 spanning those two seasons, including a 29-3 mark during the 2001-02 campaign that culminated with the program’s first Elite Eight appearance.
McCollum worked as a graduate assistant the following two years and helped lead the Bearcats back to the Elite Eight in 2004 when the team finished 29-5. He was then hired as an assistant coach at Emporia State University where he’s served the last four seasons.
Northwest finished 12-15 this past season, the first year with a win percentage below .630 since 1997. In the last 10 seasons, the Bearcats have qualified for eight NCAA tournaments, won three MIAA tournament titles (2002, 2004, 2008) and captured two MIAA regular season crowns (2002, 2007).