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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

May 25, 2006

Vorderbruegge Accepts Head Coaching Offer at Hawai'i Pacific

story courtesy of Hawai'i Pacific Sports Information

HONOLULU, Hawai'i
-- Hawai'i Pacific University has named Darren Vorderbruegge to lead the men's basketball program in 2006-07. He replaces Kelly Wells who accepted the head coaching job at Pikeville College in his home state of Kentucky.

Vorderbruegge comes to HPU from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri, where he spent six seasons, the latter two as the Associate Head Coach. "This is a great opportunity professionally for my family and me, so we're definitely very excited," said Vorderbruegge. "We've already met so many good people and can't wait to get started at HPU."

Vorderbruegge brings 20 years of high school and collegiate coaching experience to his new position, and he was instrumental in the recent success at Northwest Missouri State, a Division II school in the MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association). They finished last season with a 22-10 overall record, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

In his six years at Northwest, the Bearcats averaged 25 wins a season and twice reached the Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Division II Tournament. "There's great tradition here at HPU, and my goal is to take the success we had at Northwest Missouri State, and help HPU return to national prominence."

Vorderbruegge inherits seven returning lettermen from last season's team which played one of the most grueling schedules in the program's 25-year history. As the associate head coach at Northwest Missouri State, Vorderbruegge was responsible for most of the basketball operations and recruiting. "Coach V's contacts throughout the nation will be invaluable in recruiting top quality student-athletes to HPU," said Hawai`i Pacific President Chatt Wright. "We are extremely happy that he has decided to bring his talent and passion to the Sea Warrior basketball program."

"After a long and thorough search, we have a candidate who has the experience, enthusiasm and ability to build a championship basketball program," said Hawai`i Pacific Athletics Director Jill Ward. "His two NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances demonstrate that he knows how to win, and his energy and drive will translate into a winning program, and a welcome addition to HPU's ohana."

"My family and I are excited about Hawai'i Pacific and moving to a new place," voiced Vorderbruegge. "It is an outstanding institution and every
one I have met there has been enthusiastic and welcoming. The difficult part is leaving Northwest and the relationships we have here.

"Coach Tappmeyer took a chance hiring me six years ago. He has continued to give me responsibilities and groomed me to be a successful head coach someday. Much of my confidence comes from working so closely these past few years with one of the top collegiate coaches in the nation. I will always be grateful to him."

"It is hard to put into words but Vord has been outstanding in every aspect," said Northwest head coach Steve Tappmeyer. "It is no coincidence the six years he has been at Northwest, that the success of this program is attributed to how good of coach he has been. He is a great person and will leave a huge hole to fill.

"Hawai`i Pacific is getting a great coach and an even better individual and we wish him all the best in the future."

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
sid@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468