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Northwest Bearcats

Ben McCollum

Ben McCollum

Head Coach

OfficeLamkin Activity Center 208
Phone(660) 562-1309

No stranger to Northwest Missouri State or hard work, Ben McCollum has helped return that mentality back into Bearcat men’s basketball.


McCollum, who completed his third season at the helm of the Bearcats, helped guide his alma mater back to the postseason for the first time in three seasons. Not only did Northwest return to the MIAA tournament, it claimed the 16th MIAA Regular Season Championship in program  history after finishing 15-5.


Northwest also earned a berth in the NCAA tournament where the Bearcats fell in the first round, completing a 22-7 season. McCollum was named MIAA Coach of the Year and three Bearcats garnered All-MIAA accolades. His team led the league in defense and free-throw shooting with the top two free-throw shooters in the conference, DeShaun Cooper and Bryston Williams.


McCollum was tabbed the 20th head coach in Northwest men’s basketball history prior to the 2009-10 season. During his first season, McCollum was the second-youngest active head coach in NCAA Division II as the team finished 12-15 and one win shy of qualifying for the MIAA tournament.


He has seen his winning percentage rise in each of his three seasons to .536 and holds a career mark of 44-38.


Before returning to Northwest, McCollum served four years as an assistant coach under David Moe at Emporia State.


McCollum got his start in college coaching as a graduate assistant at Northwest under head coach Steve Tappmeyer, who he would eventually replace. During his two seasons as a graduate assistant, Northwest went 58-8 and returned to the Elite Eight for the second time in program history.


As a player, McCollum helped lead the Bearcats to a 51-12 record, including a 29-3 mark during the 2001-02 campaign that culminated with the first Elite Eight appearance in Northwest history. It also marked the first time the Bearcats swept the MIAA regular season and tournament titles as they lost a heartbreaker to Southern Indiana in the Elite Eight.


A native of Storm Lake, Iowa, McCollum began his college career at North Iowa Area Community College where he was a two-time all-region performer before transferring to Northwest.


McCollum earned his bachelor’s degree in finance before earning a master’s degree in athletic administration, both from Northwest. He and his wife, Michelle, are the parents of one son, Peyton.

Northwest Missouri State University
Year W-L Conference Finish Conference Tournament Finish NCAA Finish
2009-10 12-15 9th (7-13)
2010-11 10-16 10th (8-14)
2011-12 22-7 1st (15-5) Semifinalist (1-1) NCAA Tournament (0-1)
TOTAL 44-38 (.536)