After serving Principia in many different capacities for over 40 years, Head Basketball Coach Mike Bushong has announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2015-16 season. Current Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach, Todd Zimmerman, has been appointed as the interim head coach for the remainder of the school term and will work closely with coach Bushong to continue the recruiting efforts that have already been established. A nation-wide search for a permanent men’s basketball coach will begin immediately.
Coach Bushong has made an impact of Men’s Basketball at Principia in many ways. He played for Principia College (’74), and was inducted into the Gold and Blue Hall of Fame in 2010 for his outstanding contributions as a player. Coach Bushong has coached basketball at every level – from middle school through the professional level.
Mike is the All Time Assists leader at Principia College, and still sits at #2 for All Time Scoring. As a player in college, Mike garnered all sorts of awards – All state, All District, All American (NAIA), and he was drafted by London, England in the EBA in 1974. Mike also played briefly with The Spirits of St. Louis in the ABA.
Coach Bushong’s coaching record is expansive and impressive. His first coaching gig was as the head coach of the Southern Suns (semi-pro) in 1976-77. He posted a record of 62-1. He has coached at the college and high school levels through the decades, including the distinction of being involved with four of the five winning seasons of Principia College basketball in the last 50 years. At the high school level Coach Bushong was at the helm of the girls’ basketball program when they won the first district championship in school history.
Principia College’s Athletic Director, Lee Ellis, comments, “We were grateful to have Mike come back to Principia after being at the school, especially when the program was spiraling downward. Even though we haven’t had a huge amount of wins, he has done a lot of work to get the momentum going forward with the program. He has acquired some really good kids- and created a formula that leads to success. We are grateful for all the contributions he has made for Principia.”
Todd Zimmerman will undoubtedly continue to move this program forward with his passion and dedication to men’s basketball and to Principia College. As a player, Todd was one of the best to come through Principia College. Todd shows up on the Top Ten List for Principia College in several categories. These statistical categories have been kept ever since Principia College entered into the NCAA era. The categories that Todd is represented in includes: Career Points, Assists, Blocked Shots, Steals, Rebounds, Scoring Average, 3 Pt. Field Goal %, and Free Throw %. Todd was the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) statistical leader in Assists Per Game in 2010 and 2011, and in Points Per Game and 3pt Field Goals Made in 2011 as well. Todd was selected to the SLIAC All Conference Team in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and also qualified for the SLIAC Academic All Conference Team those same three years.
Todd has coached for Principia for the last 5 years in several capacities, including assisting women’s basketball, men’s basketball and men’s and women’s tennis.
Lee Ellis also comments on Todd’s upcoming position, “We are excited to have Todd take on this new role. He is an energetic, young talent, and he’s got basketball IQ beyond his years. He is a great young asset to our athletics program.”
Photo Courtesy Principia Athletics