Oh, how the tables have turned.
One day after the Bearcats received word that Randy Gipson took the job as the women’s basketball coach, the Northeastern Stater declined to follow through, stating he didn’t have the heart to leave Tahlequah, Okla. That says it all — Northwest Missouri State doesn’t have its guy.
But Missouri Western does.
Friday afternoon, Western A.D. Kurt McGuffin announced the Griffons have hired Rob Edmisson to head the women’s basketball program after a dismal 7-20 record. The Bearcats don’t have a coach yet after placing right behind the Griffons with four MIAA wins. Good. That’s what should happen, especially after sitting back and having to hear their Northwest Missourian sports department criticize the Black and Gold, calling the Mineral Water Bowl the Missouri Western Bowl.
Oh, that’s funny. So is seeing their coach, well — not their coach — leave.
Northwest dropped the ball on that one. Why would Gipson not want to be a Bearcat? Is Tahlequah that nice of a place? Is Northeastern that great of a school? Possibly, I’ve only been there three or four times. That doesn’t matter. This isn’t about Gipson. It’s about the Bearcats.
Currently, their softball team has tumbled downwards, their baseball team will finish under .500 it appears and their football team was demolished by Pittsburg State four months ago. I didn’t want to do this. I think Northwest has a great program. Its football team used to be superior to Division II. But not anymore.
Currently, in head-to-head matchups in all sports, Northwest holds a slim 6-5 record this season. But with four games between the baseball team this weekend, and a one-match meeting with the tennis squad on deck, it appears Western will pass the Bearcats.
Edmisson was a hot commodity coming out of Oklahoma City. The guy has over 500 wins in his career and has never had a losing season. Should he continue that trend, Western will benefit greatly.
Also, Western’s softball team is fighting for a regional championship, the football team looks like a national contender and don’t forget Tom Smith and the men’s basketball team, he can turn that program around by next season. He’s been known to do that.
If the Bearcat’s school paper would quit with the nonsense about Western athletics, about the coaches on campus and the teams, then a friendly rivalry isn’t too far away. But maybe now that they have experienced a little troublesome they will quiet down. Or maybe not.
The Bearcats basketball coach, Ben McCollum, was just name Division II National Coach of the Year. That will probably keep them talking for now. But wait, they also lost their last two games of the season — including a first round exit in the NCAA Tournament to Washburn.