Shaver resigns as SMSU wheelchair basketball coach

After 29 seasons as the Southwest Minnesota State head wheelchair basketball coach, including the past four seasons, Lew Shaver is stepping down effective immediately.

Shaver’s resignation was announced by SMSU director of athletics Chris Hmielewski on Friday in a press release. An interim head coach will be announced at a later date.

“I would like to thank Coach Shaver for his hard work and dedication to our Mustang wheelchair basketball program,” Hmielewski said. “In the last four years, Lew has helped SMSU and the basketball program grow and connect with alumni, corporate supporters and a number of organizations in an effort to enhance our wheelchair basketball program and on-campus services for our students with disabilities. Lew was instrumental in fostering relationships with the American Legion, Lions Club and Sanford Health to promote wheelchair athletics.”

Shaver started the SMSU wheelchair basketball program in 1969, coaching until 1978. He then spent one season at the University of Illinois before returning to SMSU and serving as head coach from 1979-95. Shaver resumed head coach duties for the 2009-10 season.

In his 29 years as a head coach, Shaver accrued 376 victories while leading the Mustangs to three national championships in 1981, 1983 and 1986.

The search for the next head coach will begin immediately, while the Mustangs (11-12 overall) return to the court on Feb. 9.