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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 returned to Northwest for the 2009-10 season, has seen his winning percentage rise in each of his three seasons to .575 and holds a career mark of 65-48. He has led the Bearcats to back-to-back 20-win seasons and guided his alma mater back to the postseason for the first time in three seasons during the 2011-12 campaign. Not only did Northwest return to the MIAA tournament, it claimed the 12th 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 the Clarence “Big House” Gaines National Coach of the Year along with three Bearcats earning All-MIAA accolades.

His teams led the league in defense in 20011-12 and 2012-13 and finished as one of the top defensive units in the nation. Northwest advanced to the MIAA Tournament Championship game in 2013 knocking of top seed Fort Hays State before falling in overtime of a thrilling championship game to Central Missouri.

McCollum was tabbed the 20th head coach in Northwest men’s basketball history. 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.

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 two sons, Peyton and Tate and a daughter, Grace Ann.