The Missouri Basketball Coaches Association recently released their 2020 Hall of Fame class to be inducted at a ceremony this coming September. One of the inductees is College of the Ozarks’ athletic director and men’s basketball head coach Steve Shepherd.
Shepherd has just completed his 18th year at the helm of the Bobcats’ basketball team. During his tenure, Shepherd has accumulated a national title, three Fab Four appearances, a conference title, and three conference tournament titles for the college. The Bobcats have enjoyed fifteen 20-win seasons, and Shepherd’s overall collegiate record currently stands at 390-202.
Each of the past two seasons, Shepherd led his team to a runner-up finish in the A.I.I. Conference Championship, which qualified the Bobcats to compete in the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball National Championship in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Shepherd has dedicated himself to developing student athletes who represent College of the Ozarks with character and pride. He has coached multiple NAIA and NCCAA All-Americans and numerous Scholar Athletes.
Shepherd’s coaching career began in his hometown of Savannah as the junior high boys’ basketball coach, followed by serving as the head girls’ coach at Marionville where he accumulated a record of 141-31 and led the team to a 1991 State Championship. Shepherd’s next stop was in Aurora as head coach of the boys’ basketball team. In his three years, Aurora secured two conference championships. Shepherd next stepped into the role of boys’ basketball head coach at Parkview High School (Springfield, Mo.), posting a 53-24 record during his three years.
Following 12 successful years as a high school coach, Shepherd moved to the collegiate level in 1998, serving as the assistant coach at Evangel University for four seasons. He was on the staff that celebrated their 2002 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship.
Shepherd was introduced in 2002 as the fourth head coach in the history of College of the Ozarks’ men’s basketball. In his fourth year at the helm, the 2006 Bobcats delivered to College of the Ozarks their first-ever NAIA DII Men’s Basketball National Championship, defeating Huntington University 74-56 in the title game. He was also named NAIA DII National Coach of the Year. In 2015, Shepherd added the role of athletic director to his resume, managing the day-to-day responsibilities of the college’s athletic program alongside his coaching responsibilities. He received the honor of being named A.I.I. Athletic Director of the Year in 2016-2017.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Double Tree Hotel in Springfield.