Missouri State Basketball Staff Update

Missouri State men’s basketball head coach Dana Ford announced today the addition of Chris Lowery and Bertram “Buzzy” Caruthers III to his staff.
Lowery will take on the role of special assistant to the head coach and will join the staff on May 1. Caruthers will serve as an assistant coach on the Missouri State staff.
Ford also announced that assistant coach Jase Herl has been promoted to associate head coach. Herl will be starting his fifth season on Ford’s staff.
Chris Lowery
With more than 25 years of coaching experience, Lowery comes to the Bears program after spending the last decade on Bruce Weber’s staff at Kansas State. He was promoted to associate head coach of the Wildcats shortly after his arrival in Manhattan in 2012 and helped K-State compile a 184-147 ledger with five NCAA Tournament appearances during his time there.
He also served as a member of Weber’s staff in previous stops at Southern Illinois (2001-03) and Illinois (2003-04) with eight combined NCAA Tournament appearances at the three schools, including trips to the Sweet 16 in 2002, 2004 and 2018.
“As a player and coach, Chris Lowery has been a part of five Missouri Valley conference championship teams and 13 NCAA Tournament teams,” said Ford. “He has a clear understanding of what it takes to help our program reach its ultimate goal of being champions. His experience, skill set and knowledge will be an added value to our entire coaching staff.”
Lowery, 49, came directly to Kansas State after an eight-year stint (2004-12) as head coach of his alma mater, Southern Illinois, where he posted a 145-116 (.556) record with four postseason appearances, two Missouri Valley Conference championships and one MVC Tournament title. He produced three 20-win teams at SIU and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2005, 2006 and a Sweet Sixteen run in 2007. Lowery was twice named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year (2005, 2007). The 2007 Salukis finished with a No. 11 national ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll with its highest NCAA Tournament seed (No. 4). 
Lowery coached two AP honorable mention All-Americans at SIU, including Darren Brooks (2005) and Jamaal Tatum (2007). In addition, his players earned numerous Missouri Valley honors, including two Players of the Year, four Defensive Players of the Year, two Freshmen of the Year and one Sixth Man Award. Overall, he coached 12 all-conference players in Carbondale with five first-team selections, 10 MVC All-Defensive Team honorees, five All-Freshmen picks and four All-Newcomer Team and Most Improved Team members.
Lowery began his coaching career at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill., in 1995, where he helped the Warriors to a 20-win season. He followed with stints at Missouri Southern (1997-2000) and Southeast Missouri State (2000-01) before returning to SIU as an assistant under Weber (2001-03), helping the Salukis to a 52-15 (.776) record and back-to-back MVC titles and NCAA Tournament trips. He followed Weber to Illinois in 2003-04, where he helped the Fighting Illini to a 26-7 overall record and a trip to the Sweet 16. Illinois also captured its first outright Big Ten regular season title in more than 52 years in 2003-04.
Lowery was also a standout player for legendary Saluki head coach Rich Herrin from 1990-94. He helped guide the Salukis to consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 1993 and 1994 and compiled an 86-37 mark during his playing career, including four postseason appearances and two Missouri Valley Conference titles. He scored 1,225 points and dished out 391 assists in his career, while earning his degree in Physical Education from SIU in 1995.
He was inducted into the Southern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame on October 18, 2019 after being a part of 283 wins, seven NCAA Tournaments and eight MVC Championships as a player and coach in Carbondale.
Lowery was a standout player at Harrison High School in Evansville, Ind., and was named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team in 2015.
He and his wife, Erika, have three children, Lexis, C.J., and Jazmyn. The couple’s son, Kahari, passed away in November 2016.
Buzzy Caruthers
Caruthers, who is originally from Kansas City, Kan., comes to Springfield after serving the past four years as director of player development at Nebraska. While serving on coach Fred Hoiberg’s staff in Lincoln, Caruthers filled several roles in the day-to-day operation of the Huskers program and also served as an analyst for Nebraska basketball games on the Big 10 Network.
“We’re excited about the addition of Buzzy to our staff,” said Ford. “He brings deep recruiting connections throughout the Midwest. He is also well versed in the area of player development, having spent most of his career working with numerous professionals, including former Bears great Kyle Weems.”
Before joining the Nebraska staff in 2019, he spent two years at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, and then spent the 2018-19 season at Maryville University in St. Louis. While at Lincoln, Caruthers helped the Blue Tigers to consecutive MIAA Tournament appearances, including a 17-win campaign in 2017.
He gained Division I experience as a graduate assistant at St. John’s during the 2015-16 season, and he has also worked at Butler (Kan.) Community College, Chipola (Fla.) College, Dodge City (Kan.) Community College. At the junior college level, he coached 20 players who went on to play at either the NCAA Division I or Division II level, including eight all-conference selections. His 2016 team at Butler achieve 19 wins and advanced to the regional semifinals.
“He is a huge reason for my basketball success,” said Weems, who is currently playing professional basketball in Italy. “I’ve been working out with him every summer since I was 14 years old. His love and attention to detail is something that I am forever grateful for, and I can’t wait for him to be able to pass it along in the Bears program. His energy, passion and knowledge for the game is something that will fit in to any program. I can’t wait to see him on the sidelines for the university that gave me the chance to live out my childhood dream of playing Division I basketball.”
Caruthers has also coached at Barstow High School and Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kan. At Barstow, he assisted in the formation of a winning culture that culminated in the program’s first 24-win season. He has also coached with MoKan Elite, one of the top AAU basketball organizations in the country, and sent more than 30 players to the NCAA Division I ranks.
As a high school player, Caruthers won two high school state championships at Sumner Academy. He went on to a collegiate career at Hampton University where he earned his degree in Finance in 2006. 
The new hires are contingent upon formal approval by the Missouri State University Board of Governors at its next meeting.


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