Chad Van Riessen begins his third season as an assistant coach at Missouri State University-West Plains.
“Coach Van Riessen has been a hugh part of the success we have had at Missouri State-West Plains. He is an extremely talented recruiter, he is an even better coach and he is an outstanding person. I count myself to be very fortunate that he is here,” said Coach Walker.
In Coach Van Riessen’s second season with the Grizzlies, the team finished with a 21-10 overall. That is quite impressive for a season that started with only one returning sophomore on the roster and a schedule that had four pre-season Top 25 teams in the first fifteen games and ended up with five games against teams that participated in the 2013 NJCAA National Tournament. Even with a young team, the Grizzlies won their last eight regular season games, winning their 2nd Region XVI Regular Season Championship in three seasons. For their efforts, Devaugntah Williams and Keaton Jackson earned All-Region XVI honors.
In his first year on the Grizzly bench Coach Van Riessen helped guide the team to a 21-10 record and a second place finish in the Region XVI regular season. The Grizzlies set a record for the fewest points allowed in a season (1807), were ranked as high as #8 nationally in Team Defensive Average and finished the year ranked #9 nationally. They defeated the #2 ranked team in the nation and finished 2nd in the NJCAA Region XVI regular season standings. They also defeated two of the teams that participated in the NJCAA National Tournament. After receiving votes to be an NJCAA Top 20 team for most of the year, Nathane Simniok and Gage Wooten ended the year on the All-Region XVI team with Wooten also being named NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American. The season was highlighted with consecutive wins over Iowa Western Community College, Mineral Area College, Indian Hills Community College, Three Rivers College, State Fair Community College and then Mineral Area again, all in little over a three-week period. Coach Van Riessen’s main duties as an assistant coach include recruiting, coaching the guards and scouting opponents.
Coach Van Riessen came to the Grizzlies from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, where he was a fixture on the sidelines for the Bearcats' men's basketball team since the 2007-08 season. He spent one year as a graduate assistant with the program before earning a full-time position in summer 2008. During his tenure, he helped Northwest win the MIAA tournament title in 2008 and reach the round of 32 in the NCAA Division II national championship tournament that same year.
Prior to joining the Bearcats, Van Riessen was the head boys' basketball coach at Putnam County High School in Unionville for three years. While there, he led the program to a Tri-Rivers Conference Championship in 2006, a district crown in 2007 and a 61-19 record overall. He was awarded conference coach of the year honors in 2007.
He began his coaching career as an assistant varsity girls basketball coach at PCM (Prairie City/Monroe) Community School District High School in Monroe, Iowa, where he helped lead the Mustangs to back-to-back state tournament appearances and a combined 39-10 record in two seasons.
Van Riessen earned his bachelor's degree in exercise science from Central College in Pella, Iowa and his master's degree in athletic administration from Northwest Missouri.
"I'm grateful to be a part of the Grizzly Basketball program for another season and looking forward to the upcoming year as an opportunity to build on the successful tradition of Missouri State University-West Plains basketball. It's always exciting to be a part of a program that has outstanding support from Grizzly fans, booster club members and our community," said Van Riessen.
Chad is married to the former Brandy Taylor of Kansas City, Missouri.