It’s been a very strange month for Iowa Western Community College Athletics and their men’s basketball team…
At the end of February, head men’s basketball coach Michael Johnette resigned after four years on the job (90-36). IWCC then began a very aggressive search which led to this final group:
Former Iona assistant Tra Arnold,Troy assistant Mike Worley, Southwest Mississippi CC head coach Bryan Bender, Des Moines Area CC head coach Josh Sash, Iowa Western assistant Chad Van Riessen, and former USC Salk (and new Dodge City head coach) Jake Williams. This group was narrowed to three at the beginning of this week, and that’s when things started to get interesting.
On Monday, I got word that Director of Athletics Jeremy Capo had resigned after nearly four years at IWCC. I then heard that the three final candidates (who were supposed to interview late this week) were all contacted by the outgoing President, and told that the search was being “canceled.” At that point, either suspending athletics, or dropping to NJCAA D2 were both on the table according to multiple sources.
It now sounds like the decision has been made to drop down to D2, which is not an easy decision for a school that has won National Championships in football (2012), baseball (2010, 2012, 2014), women’s soccer (2013), men’s soccer (2013), and women’s volleyball (2006). It is not clear if this will be a permanent move, or one that may be reversed after a new president is hired.
On the basketball side, I have heard from multiple people that current assistant coach Chad Van Riessen will be elevated to head coach. He had been on Johnette’s staff for the past four seasons, and previously worked at Missouri State University-West Plains and Northwest Missouri State. I have heard that the official announcement here will be made shortly.
HoopDirt.com will continue to provide updates on this situation as they become available.