Northwest Missouri State Men’s basketball head coach headed to Drake

MARYVILLE, Mo. — Northwest Missouri State basketball head coach Ben McCollum is headed to the Division I level.

McCollum was hired by Drake on Monday, after spending a historic 15 seasons at Northwest Missouri State.

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During his tenure, he led the Bearcats to four NCAA DII championships, including three in row, won 11 straight MIAA Championships (12 total) and accumulated five NABC Division II Coach of the Year awards. He also was named to the 2024 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

A move to the next level seemed overdue for McCollum, helping build and lead one best program runs in college basketball history.

“I am honored to be a part of the Drake basketball family,” McCollum said.

“We have seen the transition Drake basketball has made over the past few seasons to become one of the most successful mid-majors in that span. My family and I are very excited to continue that tradition with the support of the great Des Moines community. I would also like to thank President Martin and Athletics Director Brian Hardin for allowing me the opportunity to continue the success at Drake.”

He has coached two National Players of the Year in Blue Springs South alum Justin Pitts and Manhattan alum Trevor Hudgins.

McCollum is returning to his home state in Iowa, where he will take over a Drake team that finished second in the MVC, earning a tournament appearance before losing to Washington State in the first round.

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“It is my great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to Coach McCollum and his family on behalf of the Drake community,” Drake University President Marty Martin said. “Coach McCollum’s phenomenal success has been grounded in building and sustaining a culture of excellence for his student athletes and his program, and we are all excited for what that means for the future for our men’s basketball team.”

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