Playoffs, Hoops and Success

Hello Bearcat Nation. I hope everyone is doing great. This is my first attempt at blogging so hopefully it won’t be too terribly boring. This is a big week for Northwest. Both of our basketball teams have kicked off the regular season. Saturday marks the start of the NCAA D2 playoff football contests. Some of you know I have a basketball background. I love hoops and everything about it. Part of that love comes from my admiration for March Madness. That being said, I may be more excited about this year’s NCAA D2 football playoffs than I’ve been in a long time. (As a side note, it is a travesty that playoffs don’t occur in Division I.)

Most of you are aware that we have a rematch with Missouri Western at St Joe on Saturday at noon. I hope that I will see you there. I’ve been amazed at how well our coaches and players have dealt with the emotions of this season. From red tape, to red paws on the helmets to a few with tattoos…They all remember the passion and enthusiasm of Coach Bostwick. But they haven’t let the tragedy of losing him or the emotions be used as an excuse. They’ve worked hard, they have fought every day to be the best they can be. I have been blessed in my career to be around some very successful teams. When I was at Oklahoma State as an assistant basketball coach in 2004, we made an improbable run to the Final Four. I started the men’s basketball team at Rogers State University and served as head coach in its inaugural season. We won 20 games and were one win away from the NAIA national tournament. However, I have never been more proud of a team than I am of this year’s football team. Kudos to coaches Dorrel, Wright, Flohr, Bostwick, Gordon and Osborn. You are all leaders of men and champions. To the players, thank you for teaching all of us about battling adversity.  I’ve learned a lot from each of you. The character of the people in our program and the greater Bearcat Nation is what success is all about and what makes Northwest special.

Which brings me back to this weekend. The Bearcat Nation has a chance to unite and turn a road game into home field advantage. I hope everyone is able to make it to the game and cheer the Bearcats on to victory. You’ll even have a chance for a nightcap of men’s basketball as they play in the Hillyard Classic Saturday night at Missouri Western or you can hustle home to Maryville and watch the Bearcat women’s basketball play in the friendly confines of Bearcat Arena.

Whatever you choose, be proud, be loud and wear green. And most of all remember: Once a Bearcat…always a Bearcat.

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Wren Baker

About Wren Baker

Wren Baker was named Director of Athletics at Northwest Missouri State University in December 2010. Baker provides leadership to fifteen Northwest athletic programs. Prior to coming to Northwest, Baker was the first Athletic Director in Rogers State University history and led the development of one of Oklahoma's most successful collegiate athletic programs. Before entering administration Baker served as an assistant in the Oklahoma State University men’s basketball program 2001 to 2005. Baker received his bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2001 before earning his masters degree in education leadership from Oklahoma State University in 2003.