Ronda Hubbard is in her 14th year on the staff at Missouri Southern and was recently promoted to the position of Head Coach. On March 31, 2014, Hubbard was named the permanent head coach for the women's basketball program at Missouri Southern.
"After a comprehensive review of the Women's Basketball program it was clear that we needed to ask Coach Hubbard and her staff to stay on and lead the program forward" Bruggeman said. "We were very pleased with the way she led the program this year with both the academic and athletic successes. It certainly is an achievement to earn 19 wins and have them on the brink of an NCAA regional appearance. I'm more than confident she's the absolute right person to lead the team."
Hubbard led the Lions to a 19-8 overall record and a fourth-place finish in the MIAA and went 13-6 in league play after being picked to finish ninth in both the MIAA preseason polls. The 19 wins ties with former coach Maryann Mitts for the most wins since the 95-96 season and her .704 winning percentage this year is tied for tenth-best in a single-season at Missouri Southern.
During her 12 years with the Lions, she has helped the team
to a 189-145 record, including winning marks and a trip to the MIAA
post season tournament in all but one of those 12
In 2000-01, Hubbard helped the University of Texas-Pan American post its most wins in a season since becoming an NCAA Division I institution in 1985, and the second most victories in school history.
Prior to her stint at Texas-Pan American, she served on Maryann Mitts’ staff as an assistant at Rockhurst University from 1996-2000. There, she helped the Lady Hawks post a 68-45 record and advance to the 1997-98 Sweet 16.
Hubbard was also an assistant coach at Southwest Baptist University from 1994-96, helping guide the team to a 39-19 record. She also served as head girls basketball coach at Springfield Catholic High School from 1991-94, where she posted a 76-16 record and won back-to-back Missouri Class 2 state championships. She continues to hold the Missouri State High School Activities Association's (MSHSAA) record of being the youngest coach to accomplish such a feat.
She earned an Educational Specialist degree from the University of Missouri - Kansas City, as well as a master’s of science degree in education from Southwest Baptist in 1995. Hubbard earned a bachelor of science in physical education/health, secondary education from Missouri State University in 1991, where she played basketball from 1986-89. Hubbard’s educational background is indicative of some of the highest in her field.
“It was a honor to work with (former head) coach (Maryann) Mitts,” Hubbard said. “Anyone that has been around her knows the amount of passion she brings to the game and how she teaches her team lessons not just on the court, but also how to win in the ‘game of life’.”
"I am honored and humbled to fill her shoes," Hubbard said. "We have always shared the same philosophy about making 'winners' out of our players in every aspect of life. I am so excited to coach this team we have coming back. There are ten players currently here working hard this summer to improve and we collectively have high aspirations for this coming year. Those players, coupled with the recruits we have signed, are going to be well-positioned to conquer the goals we set back in March as we prepared for the off-season."
Mitts thinks the team won't miss a beat under the leadership of Hubbard.
"The program is in great hands with the promotion of Coach Hubbard," Mitts said. "Missouri Southern has chosen one of the most knowledgeable coaches in the game. She truly loves Missouri Southern and has invested many years to the university and women's basketball program. Coach Hubbard is an exceptional teacher of the game and strategist. Our fans should be ecstatic about the future of the program and the next era of LION Women's Basketball and rest assured, I will be their #1 fan!"
Ronnie Ressel is entering his 13th season as assistant basketball coach at Missouri Southern and second for the women's basketball team. A 1992 graduate of Missouri Southern, he returned to his alma mater for the 2002-03 campaign after spending ten years at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill.
Ressel has mentored the posts at Southern for the past four seasons, including 2012 MIAA Player of the Year, Keane Thomann.
He was elevated to the position of men's Associate Head Coach in 2010-11, and was instrumental with his help in development of the guards and overall program at Southern. Former Lion Skyler Bowlin was the MIAA's Player and Defender of the Year in 2011, and was a four-time member of the MIAA's All-Defensive team. He is the Lions' all-time leader in three-pointers and ranks fourth all-time in scoring and second in free-throw percentage. He was selected to three different All-American teams, while being named All-Region and the Region Player of the Year. He was also a finalist for National Player of the Year.
In 11 years with the Lions, Ressel has helped the team to an 204-145 record, including 11-straight appearances in the MIAA Postseason Tournament. The Lions played in the conference tournament title game in 2005 and again in 2011.
At Rend Lake College, Ressel produced a record of 118-92 and was named Great Rivers Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1996. A year later, Ressel led Rend Lake to a GRAC co-championship.
Also during his stint at Rend Lake, he served as assistant softball coach and coordinator of the Rend Lake Fitness Center. Since 1997, he had served as Region 24 Women's Basketball Division I Committee Chairman.
Prior to taking over Rend Lake's women's program, he served as assistant men's basketball coach from 1992-95 after serving one season as a student assistant for Lions head coach Robert Corn in 1991-92.
Ressel enjoyed his share of success throughout his playing and coaching careers. A two-year letterman at Missouri Southern, he averaged 6.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. He led the Lions in assists in both the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons and was awarded the Don Gross Leadership Award following his senior campaign.
In addition to his coaching duties, Ressel also serves an instructor of kinesiology at Southern. He and his wife, Pamela, have a son, Kristopher, who is autistic and non-verbal and has competed in three triathlons.
Zach Fears is in his second season with the strength and conditioning staff at Missouri Southern.
A 2010 graduate of Central College in Iowa, Fears came to MSSU after a year at Abilene Christian University as an Assistant Strength Coach. Prior to ACU, Fears was at Winona State University where he was a Graduate Assistant Strength Coach while he worked on his masters degree.
Fears also served as an intern at North Carolina State where he worked with the strength coaches for the football program.
From 2010-11, he served as the Director of Sports Performance at Sterling Sports Performance in Pella, Iowa.
A competitive weightlifter in his spare time, Fears and his wife, Julie, were married in 2010 and the couple has a son, Wesley (3), and are expecting their second child in January 2016.