First-year Northwest Missouri State head women's basketball coach Michael Smith filled the most prominent role on his staff recently with the hiring of Buck Scheel as his top assistant.
Scheel has seven years of college coaching experience, all at the NAIA or junior college levels.
He's been a head coach for three years and an assistant for four. His most recent stint was at State Fair Community College in Sedalia where he served as the top assistant for the women's basketball team.
Scheel officially begins his duties at Northwest July 1, but is already on campus helping with team camp and getting to know the current Northwest players.
"He's somebody that I've had in mind for a couple years if I ever had another opening regardless of where I was just because of the relationships he and I had built," said Smith. "Him being a junior college coach and me being a four-year coach and recruiting some of his players. A lot of colleagues in this profession that I admire and respect speak very highly of him."
Scheel is taking over the role held by Kristen Mattio last year. Mattio followed former head coach Mark Kellogg to West Texas A&M.
Scheel made his interest known in being part of Smith's staff early on in the process.
And he didn't stop there.
"He was pretty persistent with me," said Smith who was introduced as Northwest's head coach in mid-May. "I like that. That tells me people want to be somewhere. I wanted to be here and I was persistent with Coach T (Northwest athletic director Mel Tjeerdsma) whenever the job opened up. I don't think that's being annoying; it's just showing someone your sincere interest."
During Scheel's three years at State Fair, the Lady Roadrunners reached the NJCAA National Tournament once and the Region 16 playoffs twice. The 2010-11 team won the school's first national tournament game in school history.
Prior to his time at State Fair, Scheel spent three years as the head women's coach at Southwestern (Iowa) Community College in Creston, only 70 miles from Maryville.
Scheel landed his first coaching job at his alma mater, Waldorf (Iowa) College. He was an assistant there for one year.
Scheel played his final two years of college basketball at Waldorf and graduated in 2005.
His first two years were spent at Lincoln (Neb.) School of Commerce.
Scheel went to Columbus (Neb.) High School and led his team to a state runner-up finish in 2001.
"He's got some recruiting contacts in areas that I don't, so I think that will help us out from a recruiting standpoint, and you're always looking for somebody with some new ideas in the game," said Smith. "You're always growing as a coach just like a player."
Page 2 of 2 - Even with Scheel's hiring, Northwest's coaching staff for next year is not yet complete.
Dana Schreibvogel is entering her second year as the grad assistant and should be back on the bench.
Two-year grad assistant and former Bearcat great Gentry Dietz is finishing up her Master's. No decision has been made on whether she'll return.