With a National title, three final four appearances, a conference title and three conference tournament titles, 12th 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 eight 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. During his tenure at College of the Ozarks, he has coached eight All American players and seven All American Scholar Athletes.
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, 22 and Sydney 17.
Todd Wright enters his second season as an assistant coach with the College of the Ozarks men’s basketball program in 2013-14 after joining Steve Shepherd’s staff in June of 2012.
In his first season as an assistant with the Bobcats in 2012-13, the Bobcats finished the season with a 23-13 record, a No. 25 national ranking, an MCAC Conference Tournament Championship, and an Elite Eight finish in the NAIA National Tournament. Wright’s responsibilities within the program include scouting, film exchange and player development.
Wright came to College of the Ozarks after spending three seasons, 2009-2012, as an assistant coach at Hollister (Mo.) High School. Wright helped guide the Tigers to a Class 2 state playoff appearance in 2010. Prior to his arrival at Hollister, Wright was at Messenger College in Joplin for six years, including two seasons as head coach from 2005-2007. Under Wright’s leadership, the Eagles claimed a regional tournament title in 2007.
A two-time All-America and Academic All-America candidate at Messenger College, Wright led the Eagles to back-to-back NBCAA Division II national championship appearances in 1998 and ’99. He was a starter for four seasons and was a finalist for the Terry Trophy with Messenger College in 1999. Wright, a two-time captain, finished his collegiate playing career with 1,136 points and 303 three-pointers.
Wright received his bachelor’s degree in education from Messenger College and earned his master’s degree in systematic theology from the Midwest College of Theology. In 2013, Wright earned his doctoral degree in soteriology from Midwest Theological University. A graduate of Reeds Spring High School, Wright was inducted into the Reeds Spring High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Wright and his wife, Ginger, have three children, Parker (16), Macy (13) and Ethan (9).