Shawn Neary has been hired as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Williston State College. Neary brings a wealth of coaching experience to the Teton Athletic Department, including spending last year on staff at Montana State University-Billings. He has been a head coach at the junior college level for 24 years overall and has accumulated an impressive 472 Wins.
“We are elated to have Coach Neary leading our men’s basketball program. He is a proven track record of winning and has helped improve every athletic department he has been a part of. I am confident Coach Neary’s team will win not only on the court, but also in the classroom and community.” said Athletic Director Jayden Olson. “The committee was extremely impressed with Coach Neary’s vast knowledge of WSC and the greater Williston area. He is extremely passionate, and we know the greater Williston area will love watching Coach Neary’s teams play! Coach Neary and his family will be a great addition to our Teton Family.”
“This is a great opportunity and I look forward to building our program to be regionally and nationally competitive.” Said Coach Neary. “I have always respected Williston State College, and the people of Williston. Their support for the college and its athletic teams has always been impressive.”
Neary was hired in December of 2008 to start up the new basketball program at Gillette College. While leading the Pronghorn program, Neary’s teams won 268 games in 11 seasons for an average of 24 wins per year and a .750 winning percentage. He led the program to two Region IX championships and three NJCAA national tournament appearances. The Pronghorns’ highest finish at the national tournament was a third-place finish in 2016, which was the highest for a Region IX team since 1963.
Neary was named the Region IX and District IX Coach of the Year twice (2016 and 2017) and he guided five All-Americans (Ryan Aaron, Muhamed Ahmed, Lorenzo Bonam, Kavell Bigby-Willams, and Abdul Mohamed), in his 11 seasons at the helm.
Neary began his college coaching career at Miles Community College in 1996-97, where he served as the head coach for 12 seasons. During his tenure as the head coach of the Pioneers, his teams won 204 games which placed him as the all-time career leader in wins at MCC. His Pioneer teams won the MonDak Conference regular season title once and tied for the Region IX sub-region regular season conference title once. Neary was also named MonDak Coach of the Year in 2000. Over his last three seasons at Miles his teams averaged 19 wins per year, and he had a 20-win season for only the second time in school history. In 2005-06 the Pioneers were ranked nationally for the first time in school history checking in as high as No. 14 in the national poll. The Pioneers were named the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year five times and had the highest team grade point average in the nation among all men’s basketball programs three times.