Bryan Bender is beginning his first season as an assistant coach at Missouri State University-West Plains. He comes to the Grizzlies from the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Men’s basketball program. Bender recently completed eight seasons with the Gophers program and his third as the team’s video coordinator, overseeing film exchange, student managers and all video duties. He aided in numerous aspects of the program including practice planning, recruiting, academics and scheduling. Prior to being the video coordinator, he spent four seasons as a student manager with the program, including two as the head student manager and film coordinator. He spent the 2009-10 season as a graduate assistant.
During Bender’s tenure at Minnesota he was a major contributor to the Gophers success. During that time the Gophers qualified for 6 NCAA post-season appearances; including 3 NIT appearances and 3 NCAA Tournament appearances. During the 2012-2013 season, the Gophers spent 14 weeks ranked in the top 25, including 3 weeks ranked in the top 10. The season was capped off with a 2nd round victory over UCLA in the NCAA tournament.
He gained additional experience serving on the support staff of the 2008 USA Basketball U18 Junior National Team and has also served as assistant director of Tubby Smith Basketball Camps for the past 6 years.
“I believe that Coach Bender has a tremendous future ahead of him as a coach. He knows what kind of student-athletes are successful both on and off the floor at the highest level. That knowledge can only help our program. He has contacts all over the country and he is a relentless worker.”
“I am thrilled to be working for such a great school with a great reputation and a proven head coach,” Bender said. “Coach Walker is very well respected in coaching circles and I look forward to being able to learn from him and continue the tradition of excellence already established by this program, University and the West Plains community.”
Bender graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from the University of Minnesota in 2008 and received a Master in Education degree in Applied Kinesiology with a Sports Management and Coaching emphasis in 2010. He is a native of Cambridge, Wisconsin.