By Lance Jordan, Sports Editor
Rob Holloway, who resigned last month for a position at Eastern Illinois, will be replaced by University of Missouri-St. Louis men’s new assistant basketball coach Jesse Shaw. Shaw’s record includes a NJCAA Region VI Coach of the Year award, KBCA Junior College Men’s Coach of the Year award, and several other championship and tournament victories while serving as the head coach at Pratt Community College, an NJCAA Division I junior college in Kansas.
The opportunity presented itself when former UMSL men’s basketball head coach Steve Tappmeyer informed Shaw of the open position at the university.
“Coach Steve Tappmeyer was the previous head basketball coach here before Coach Sundvold. He contacted Coach Sundvold and myself when the position became open. I always wanted to get back to the four-year level, and my wife and I loved the idea of living in a major city. Plus, everyone I talked to about Coach Sundvold said great things about him,” Shaw said.
Wasting no time, Shaw went to the first place he could and signed the contract. He already has big plans for the men’s basketball team here at UMSL. The team last season had a slightly disappointing 12-16 record, which Shaw hopes to turn around and even win the championship. “I’m all about championships and relationships. My goals here are to win conference championships, conference tournament championships, regional championships, and national championships. I also want to make sure every one of our seniors is set up to be successful in their next step in life,” Shaw said.
In what would be Shaw’s final season as head coach at Pratt Community College, the team placed second in a 14-team Jayhawk conference, won a total of 22 games, and finished with the best record in the East Division of the conference. As he says his goodbyes to Pratt, Shaw said he will miss the players, staff, faculty, and people in the community the most.
Still in what he describes as the honeymoon stage, Shaw, his wife Hannah Bell, and daughters, Harmony and Avery, are finding St. Louis great so far. “Our heads are spinning right now! My wife and daughters are excited, and our families are too. Pratt was great, but for some reason I think our families are more excited to visit us in St Louis!” Shaw said.
The UMSL men’s basketball team’s first game of the season will be in November. They will start the season with an away exhibition game against SIU Carbondale. Shaw is confident that not only the team can win the opener but also outplay the other teams in the division.
“My initial evaluation of our team is that we have enough talent and depth to win championships. We will obviously have to stay healthy and get lucky. We will also have to be an extremely close group, one that is willing to outwork the other teams in our conference, and completely buy in to coach Sundvold’s system and roles,” Shaw said.
To read more about Coach Shaw, visit http://umsltritons.com/news/2016/9/13/shaw-joins-mens-basketball-coaching-staff.aspx?path=mbball