With a National title, three final four appearances, a conference title and two conference tournament titles, 11th year head coach Steve Shepherd has the Bobcat basketball program widely regarded as one of the top programs in the country. During Shepherd’s tenure, the Bobcats have enjoyed seven 20 win seasons. In addition to his on court success, Shepherd has dedicated himself to developing student athletes who represent College of the Ozarks with character and pride.
Shepherd’s coaching career began in his hometown of Savannah, Mo. as the junior high boys’ basketball coach. His next stop was as the head girls coach at Marionville, Mo. In his six years, Shepherd’s teams collected four district championships and won the 1991 Class 2 State Championship. Shepherd’s next stop was as the head coach at Aurora, Mo. In his three years, Aurora won two conference championships. Shepherd then served three years as head coach at Parkview High School.
After 12 successful years as a high school coach, Shepherd began his collegiate coaching career in 1998 at Evangel University. He served as Evangel head coach Steve Jenkins’ assistant for four seasons. In 2002, Shepherd was on the staff that celebrated Evangel’s NAIA Division II national basketball championship.
In 2002, Shepherd was introduced as the fourth head coach in the history of College of the Ozarks. In his fourth year at the helm, the 2006 Bobcats delivered to College of the Ozarks their first ever national championship, defeating Huntington University 74-56 in the title game. He was also named NAIA National Coach of the Year.
Shepherd graduated from Savannah High School in 1982. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Northwest Missouri State in 1986. Shepherd earned his master’s degree in middle school education from Evangel University in 2004. Shepherd and his wife Karen have two daughters, Alexis, 21 and Sydney 16.
Todd Wright is in his first season as assistant coach at College of the Ozarks.
Wright comes to C of O after spending the last three seasons as an assistant at Hollister High School. Wright helped lead the Tigers to a Class 2 state playoff appearance in 2010. Before moving to Hollister, Wright spent six years at Messenger College in Joplin, including two seasons as head coach from 2005-2007. During his time at Messenger, Wright helped guide the Eagles to three consecutive NBCAA Division II National Tournament appearances and one regional invitational postseason tournament title.
A native of Reeds Spring, Mo., Wright had a solid playing career at Messenger as a collegian. During his senior season, Wright became a legitimate candidate for both NBCAA All-America and All-Interstate Collegiate Conference laurels as he averaged 16 points per game and hit a school-record 132 3-pointers on a school-record 458 3-point attempts. He guided the Eagles to a pair of NBCAA (D-II) National Tournament appearances in both his junior and senior seasons as the team’s starting point guard.
Wright earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Messenger College, with a minor in biblical studies and is earning a graduate degree in biblical studies from the Midwest College of Theology. Wright and his wife, Ginger, reside in Hollister and have three children, Parker (15), Macy (12) and Ethan (7).