Drake basketball tabs Ben McCollum, Northwest Missouri State coach, to lead program


Drake men’s basketball named its new head coach on Monday.

Ben McCollum – an Iowa native who spent more than a decade as head coach at NCAA Division II powerhouse Northwest Missouri State – will take over the Bulldogs as Darian DeVries’ successor.

The Storm Lake native played college basketball for the Bearcats and then returned to his alma mater after a four-year assistant coaching stint at Emporia State.

In 15 seasons as the Bearcats head coach, McCollum compiled a career record of 394-91 – with a 241-63 record in conference play.

McCollum put together a 32-7 record in the NCAA Division II Tournament, including four national championships (2017, 2019, 2021, 2022).

The Bearcats might have won four straight national titles had the tournament not been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Under McCollum, Northwest won 25 or more games in 12 straight seasons − the longest active streak among all NCAA men’s programs. The Bearcats posted records of 30-plus wins in five seasons, including a perfect 38-0 season in 2018-19.

More: The best college basketball coach you’ve never heard of is from Storm Lake, Iowa

He is a five-time NABC Division II National Coach of the Year, the 2019 John McLendon National Coach of the Year (all divisions), and two-time Clarence “Big House” Gaines National Coach of the Year.

McCollum led Northwest Missouri State to 12 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association regular-season titles, eight MIAA Tournament titles, and was named the conference’s coach of the year nine times.

Northwest Missouri State coach Ben McCollum holds the NCAA Division II championship trophy at Ford Center in Evansville, Ind., on March 30, 2019. McCollum has been hired as Drake’s new men’s basketball coach.

His success garnered accolades from across the nation.

“When somebody’s doing something unique in coaching, I tend to pay attention,” Fran Fraschilla, a college basketball analyst for ESPN, told the Register in 2022. “To watch what Northwest Missouri State…

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Author : The Des Moines Register

Publish date : 2024-04-01 20:01:41

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