McKowen named head coach of Upper Iowa men’s basketball program

Brooks McKowen will be introduced as the new head coach of the Upper Iowa University men’s basketball program at a press conference today in Fayette, Iowa, the school’s athletic department announced Monday on its website.

McKowen spent the last two seasons serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Southwest Minnesota State men’s basketball team under head coach Brad Bigler. During his first season on the staff, the Mustangs posted a 19-win season, finished second in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings and were the NSIC tournament champions. Last year, SMSU went 16-14 overall and 13-9 in the NSIC, placing seventh in the conference.

“The Mustang basketball family is thankful for all of the hard work Brooks has put in the past two seasons at SMSU and was a vital part of our success during his tenure,” Bigler said in a release. “My family wishes the best of luck to Brooks and Amanda in the future. I would consider them family with everything we have been through the last two years.”

McKowen came to Marshall after serving as an assistant coach at Des Moines Area Community College in 2010-11. The team finished 23-8 that year and advanced to the region semifinals. Prior to that, McKowen spent three seasons (2007-10) on the coaching staff of his alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa. There he served two seasons as a graduate assistant and one as a video coordinator. The team made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 2009-10.

McKowen was a four-year letterwinner at point guard for UNI. He helped lead the team to three 20-plus win seasons and three trips to the NCAA tournament. He ended his career with the school record for assists in a season, was second in career assists and fourth all-time in games played.

The press conference announcing McKowen as Upper Iowa’s new head coach will take place at 10:30 a.m. today in the Upper Iowa Student Center.

A native of Fairbank, Iowa, McKowen will be coaching 27 miles from his hometown. Both McKowen and Bigler’s fathers are long-time high school boys’ basketball head coaches in Iowa.

“When Brooks first applied for the position at SMSU, we talked about our fathers’ rivalry,” Bigler said. “Now I’m happy to say we will have our own rivalry as well.”

McKowen replaces Brian Dolan as the Peacocks’ head coach. In 2012-13, Dolan led Upper Iowa to its best season since moving up to the NCAA Division II level and joining the NSIC prior to the 2006-07 season. The Peacocks went 20-12 last season and advanced to the program’s first Central Region tournament.

Dolan resigned from his position at Upper Iowa earlier this month to take the same position at fellow NSIC school Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.