On Saturday College of the Ozarks head coach George Wilson watched his team do something he had seen 999 times before.
Win a basketball game.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE GAME
The Lady Bobcats knocked off York College by a comfortable 94-44 margin to get their longtime coach a victory that puts him in an elite group of coaches.
“For these girls to get this win for me is pretty awesome. I’m very proud to be associated with this school, and it has been an enjoyable ride to be a part of,” said Wilson.
C of O was led by senior all-time leading scorer Morgan Smith and her double-double performance 22 points and 10 rebounds. Smith was one of five Lady Bobcats in double figures.
“It was so great to be a part of the team that got to experience this victory with him. To have all of his family and past players come to the game, it truly was a special moment for the program,” said Smith. “It wasn’t just special to celebrate his 1,000th win, but tonight provided the opportunity to celebrate the appreciation and love everyone has for him. Coach Wilson has always believed in me; he has made me a better player and a better person because of it.”
The 1,000 win milestone is not something Wilson ever could have envisioned when he began coaching high school basketball 47 years ago. Wilson actually lost 100 games before winning his first 100 games.
“What a day, how could you ever think 47 years ago something like this would have happened to a guy like me, especially since I lost a lot of games to start with,” said Wilson. “Most people would have taken a regular job to get on with their life, but I stayed with what I was doing and I got lucky. There’s only one way of getting to a 1,000 wins, and you have to be old to do so.”
George Wilson has entered his sixteenth season as head coach at College of the Ozarks, and underneath his leadership, the Lady Bobcats have collected a record of 441 wins and 87 losses and have become one of the strongest NAIA women’s basketball programs in the country.
In his 47th-year of coaching, his overall record has reached 1,000-371. During his tenure at C of O, Wilson has led his teams to thirteen Midland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships and advanced to the NAIA Division II National Tournament fourteen times which resulted in eight Elite Eight finishes.
Included in that span, Coach Wilson led his team to four National Tournament Runner-up finishes.
Currently he is the seventh winningest coach in NAIA Division II history, with the highest winning percentage.
Before coming to College of the Ozarks, Wilson coached high school boys’ basketball for 31 years in the Southwest Missouri area, accumulating a 559-284 record. He was enshrined into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
As the game came to an end, a cool, calm and collect George Wilson received congratulations from his team and assistants as the crowd applauded with a standing ovation.
During the postgame ceremonies, Coach Wilson was recognized for his outstanding success and contributions to the sport of basketball and to the C of O community. Several recognition awards were presented to him, as he was accompanied on the court with his family and a contingent of former Lady Bobcat players.
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The Lady Bobcats improved to 24-3 and 12-1 in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference.
“The reflection of what he has done for our program is huge, it’s a made us a national powerhouse at our level, and he is the face of our program and I’m so blessed to play with him,” said Smith. “This was definitely the biggest crowd we have played in front of in a while. It really shows how much people care about coach seeing how big the crowd was, and it was a great testament to what he has done.”