Posted: Tuesday, 23 April 2013 11:09AM

Steve Huber named new Drury women's basketball coach



SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Steve Huber, a veteran assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level, has been named head coach of the Drury Lady Panthers basketball program, the university announced on Tuesday.

Huber, 52, has spent the past seven seasons as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Creighton University of the Missouri Valley Conference (and soon, the Big East Conference). He's also been an assistant at the D-I level at Louisville and San Diego State and at D-II Central Missouri.

Steve Huber
Steve Huber
Huber spent five seasons as the head coach at Benedictine College (1994-99), guiding the Ravens to three NAIA national tournament appearances, two conference titles and a 108-55 record, earning district Coach of the Year honors once and conference Coach of the Year recognition twice in that span. The Ravens had won just 10 games over three seasons prior to his arrival, including an 0-25 campaign before he became head coach.

"I'm just elated for this opportunity," Huber said. "Initially, my interest in this job was based largely on the tradition that Nyla (Milleson) started and what they've accomplished over the years in women's basketball. But after going home from the interview, it was not only that, but the people. Everybody I met down there was just great. 

"Obviously being at Creighton and coming to Springfield often (to play Missouri State) and knowing that area and the rich basketball tradition in it, it's exciting for me. I can't wait to get started."

Huber becomes just the third head coach in the 14-year history of the Lady Panthers program, following Nyla Milleson (2000-07) and Steve Harold (2007-13). Drury has a 314-88 record (a .781 winning percentage) in its 13 seasons, and has never had a losing season.

The Lady Panthers were 14-13 this past season, when their remarkable string of 10 consecutive NCAA-II tournament appearances was snapped. 

"For the last three years, I've been looking for the right opportunity ... I knew I wanted to become a head coach again," Huber said. "I'm leaving a great situation. I've had seven great years at Creighton, where one of my best friends in my lifetime was my head coach (Jim Flanery), and we've been extremely successful. But the opportunity to be a head coach again ... there's really only one D-II institution in America I wanted to go to, and it's Drury. I said for the last few years that if that job ever comes open, that's the job I want."

Matt Miller, Drury's Executive Director of Athletics Administration, said "we are very pleased to welcome Coach Huber and his family to Drury. Steve's many years of experience as a tremendous recruiter and a proven head coach are just as impressive as his track record of identifying, developing and graduating top performing student-athletes. His skill set has produced great success in each program with which he's been involved. We are confident that he will generate excellent results for the Lady Panthers on the court, in the classroom, and in the community."

Huber was part of a Creighton squad that finished 25-8 this past season and lost to Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bluejays were 140-88 and qualified for post-season play six times in Huber's seven seasons on the Creighton bench.

Creighton coach Jim Flanery says of Huber, "Steve's experience can't be overvalued. His recruiting contacts and experience are indispensable. He is passionate and incredibly connected when it comes to recruiting ... he has a great rapport with the players, he does a good job of teaching the fundamentals and the players buy in to his way of communicating."

Huber says his style of play from the start at Drury will be dictated largely by the personnel he has inherited, but that his preference is a motion offense and first and foremost, a solid defense.

"I'm a defense-first guy, but we also want to play an up-and-down, fast style of play (offensively)," Huber said. "Everything with me starts with defense, and secondly, we're going to be the most in-shape team in America and we're not going to be outworked. That was me as a player, a blue-collar guy ... I'm an Average Joe in life who got by by outworking people, and that's the style of team I want out there."

Huber began his coaching career on the men's side as an assistant at St. Cloud State (Minnesota) from 1982-84. He was also a men's assistant at Northwest Missouri State from 1986-88, where he earned his master's degree in education. During the 1990s, Huber also branched out as owner of High Five Basketball Camps and coordinator of the Kansas City Junior College Jamboree, one of the largest preseason juco tournaments in the nation. High Five Basketball Camps, a college exposure camp, was one of the top recruiting camps in the nation; his scouting service had over 150 subscribers, including more than 110 Division I institutions.

A native of Springfield, Ill. and graduate of Illinois State University, Huber and wife Linda have two children, daughter Arielle (22) and son Blake (18).

Filed Under :  
Topics : DruryWomen's Basketball
People : Steve Huber
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