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Northwest Bearcats

Coaching Staff

Ben McCollum

Ben McCollum

Head Coach
Office: (660) 562-1309

Ben McCollum is primed to begin his thired season as the head coach at his alma mater. McCollum entered the ranks as the second-youngest active head coach in Division II during the 2009-10 season. He made his debut November 16 when the Bearcats earned a 50-point win against Manhattan Christian in front of a home crowd at Bearcat Arena. Northwest won its first four games en route to a 12-15 season. The team fell one win shy of qualifying for the MIAA tournament.

McCollum is the 20th head coach in the history of Northwest men’s basketball. He replaced Steve Tappmeyer, who served as McCollum’s coach for two seasons from 2001-03. In those two years, McCollum helped lead the Bearcats to a 51-12 record, 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 alongside Tappmeyer 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 spent four seasons before making the move back to Maryville.

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. He and his wife, Michelle, are the parents of a son, Peyton.

Austin MeyerAustin Meyer

Assistant Coach
Office: (660) 562-1328

Austin Meyer has been Northwest Missouri State’s assistant men’s basketball coach since the 2008-09 campaign, but he’s been on the Bearcat bench much longer than that.

A native of Blue Springs, Mo., Meyer played four seasons for the Bearcats from 2002-06. He was the leading scorer and rebounder of the 2004-05 squad when he average 13.3 points and 5.4 rebounds. He remains Northwest’s all-time leading three-point shooter with 215 made. His 1,294 career points rank sixth in program history.

Meyer won an MIAA conference tournament championship and made an appearance in the Elite Eight during the 2003-04 season when the team finished 29-5. A sophomore, Meyer led the team with 68 three-pointers and shot 42 percent from beyond the arc. He finished as the team’s second-leading scorer with 11.5 points per game.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in 2006, Meyer was hired as a graduate assistant under then-head coach Steve Tappmeyer, who would name Meyer his full-time assistant two years later. Together, they won the MIAA’s regular season crown in 2007 and an MIAA tournament title in 2008. The team advanced to the NCAA tournament both seasons.

Andy Peterson

Assistant Coach
Office: (660) 359-1970

Andy Peterson returns to the Northwest Missouri State Men’s Basketball staff after one year as the assistant coach at Southwestern Community College in Creston, IA. Before his stint at SWCC, Peterson played for the Bearcats from 2003-2008.  A native of Trenton, Mo., Peterson finished his career with the 3rd highest career three-point percentage and 6th all-time on the Bearcat charts in steals.

As a senior in 2007-2008, Peterson and the Bearcats won the 4th MIAA Tournament Championship in Northwest history, and he was named All-Conference Honorable Mention as well as Academic All-MIAA.  Peterson helped guide the Bearcats to a MIAA Regular Season Championship in 2006-2007, leading the team in minutes played as a junior.  In Peterson’s five seasons, the Bearcats made four NCAA appearances, including the Sweet Sixteen as a sophomore and the Elite Eight as a red-shirt freshman in 2003-2004.

Peterson then bridged the gap between head coaches, serving as a graduate assistant for the Bearcats and former-head coach Steve Tappmeyer in 2008-2009 and now present Bearcat head coach Ben McCollum in 2009-2010 before going to SWCC for the 2010-2011 season.

Peterson earned two Bachelor’s degree in 2007 and a Master’s Degree in Agriculture in 2008. He received his Master’s Degree in Education in Physical Education from Northwest in 2010. He and his fiancée, Emily Churchman, who serves as the Bearcat Cross Country/Track and Field Assistant Coach, reside in Maryville.

Tomas Brock 

Graduate Assistant

Tomas Brock enters his first season as the Men’s Basketball Graduate Assistant for Northwest Missouri State University.

Brock, a native of Mt. Vernon, MO., came to Northwest after graduating from Southwest Baptist University last spring, with a degree in Finance and Economics. Brock is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Health and Physical Education degree at Northwest.

Brock was a member of the Southwest Baptist Bearcats from 2008-2011. In his time at Southwest Baptist, Brock was a member of a MIAA regular season champion and made an appearance in the Sweet Sixteen. Brock was named to the MIAA All-Conference Team in both his junior and senior seasons.

Tomas is the son of Skip and Lori Brock and comes from a coaching family. His dad, Skip, is the Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach at Mt. Vernon High School. His older brother, Matt, is the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Pittsburg State University while his older sister Abi Copeland is the Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Central High School in Springfield, MO.