Brooks McKowen to head UIU men’s BB
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Brooks McKowen to head UIU men’s BB
By Jerry Wadian
Last week Upper Iowa University announced that head men’s basketball coach Brian Dolan had resigned to go to NSIC rival Wayne State.
Tuesday, July 30, the university announced it has hired former NSIC rival SW Minnesota State assistant coach Brooks McKowen as the new head coach.
McKowen is the son of Wapsie Valley athletic director and boys’ basketball coach Marty McKowen.
Brooks is the all-time leading scorer in Iowa boy’s basketball history with 2831 points in 2000-2003. The runner-up is Cary Cochran of Tri Center (Neola) with 2650.
Local basketball fans may remember that McKowen set the all-time record in West Union on a little put-back in Wapsie Valley’s game against North Fayette.
McKowen attended UNI, where he made a very successful transition to point guard on some very good Panther teams.
After graduation, he worked with the UNI program for three years, then moved on as an assistant coach at Des Moines Area Community College. For the past two years he has been an assistant coach at Southwest Minnesota State.
When contacted by the Union, McKowen said, “I’m really excited about the opportunity. Upper Iowa has always been in my eyes (his father, mother and brother are all UIU alums).
“This is an opportunity not only to become a head coach at an ascending university, but also a chance to get back close to home and my family.”
Brooks and his dad, Marty, will be really close for a while since Brooks will be living with his parents until he can find a place to live.
Strangely enough, Brooks’ brother, John, is also back in northeast Iowa after several years in Kansas; he will be the head basketball coach at Cedar Rapids Kennedy. However, their sister, Brittney, who has been the head coach at Hudson for two years, is moving with her fiancé to Omaha.
When talking about his plans for Upper Iowa basketball, McKowen gave a lot of credit to former coach Dolan, stating: “I know Brian well, and he did an amazing job of laying a good foundation of quality Iowa kids for me. Dolan did a great job of taking the program from a struggling to a solid program.”
McKowen plans to continue to build with Iowa kids and a few from nearby states.
“We want to get high-character kids who are willing to work,” he explained.
As for the style of play he wants to install, McKowen explained, “We will use multiple defenses, but want to stay in the face of an opponent. On offense, I like the up-tempo, fast-paced, up-and-down-the-court, and get-it-to-the-rim style of play. Players and fans both like that kind of system.”
UIU athletic director Dave Miller said of the hire, “I’m very, very pleased and excited. We had a really strong pool of candidates, which speaks well of the job former coach Brian Dolan did in elevating the program; I really respect the job that he did.”
Miller went on to say, “When I looked at the profile of the kind of coach I wanted – experience at DII and the NSIC; an Iowa, preferably a northeast Iowa, connection; a leader and a role model, Brooks’ name just coming up to the forefront.
“Coach McKowen also has an understanding of Upper Iowa and believes our unique qualities are an opportunity to continue to improve.”
Miller stating, “I think McKowen is the perfect person, personally and professionally, to take this program to the highest levels.”
UIU BB Coach