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Bemidji State taps Boschee as new men's hoops coach

Mike Boschee

BEMIDJI -- Bemidji State athletic officials didn't have a lot of turnaround time to find the next Beaver basketball coach.

Former BSU head coach Matt Bowen announced his departure for Minnesota-Duluth in early May. That put the athletic department in a bind, forcing them to scramble to get the job posted and hire someone before the summer's end.

On Wednesday, the search finally ended.

BSU announced the hiring of Mike Boschee as the 16th head coach in the history of the BSU men's basketball program.

"We're very excited," BSU athletic director Rick Goeb said. "It maybe took a little longer than we expected, but the end result is we've got just a quality person and coach joining us."

Boschee, who was the head coach at Division III Central College in Pella, Iowa, takes over immediately for the Beavers.

"It's a great situation," Boschee said. "This is a great program, (the NSIC) is a great conference and it's a little closer to my family. I'm just excited to take on a new challenge."

The former North Dakota star - Boschee played for the Sioux from 1986-90 - also coached at Northern State and Gustavus Adolphus before starting his career as a head coach at Central in 2004.

Before Boschee's arrival in Pella, Central hadn't reached .500 in eight years. But Boschee led the Dutch to new heights, including a return to the Division II tournament in 2009-10 and the school's first-ever Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament title. He compiled a career 115-115 record at Central and is third all-time in wins at the school.

"He's got 10 years of great experience and an outstanding resume, but most importantly, he does it the right way," Goeb said. "He's a well-known name and well-respected. Everyone you talk to about Mike just has great things to say about him."

The fact that Boschee made the Central program respectable again after years of mediocrity stood out to Goeb - mainly because Bemidji State has been in that position before.

Boschee, a Valley City, N.D., native, won't have to turn Bemidji's program around as much as keep it speeding forward.

Bowen led BSU to its most successful season ever in 2011-12, compiling a 22-9 record and returning to the Division II tourney for only the second time ever.

Many of those players return for Boschee this season, making the Beavers a contender once again.

"Obviously it will be tough to fill the shoes of the National Player of the Year," Boschee said, referring to leading scorer James Ellisor, who graduated. "But we have some good guys returning. I think it will be a matter of getting familiar with how they play and them getting familiar with how I coach."

Boschee said he expects to score a lot of points and play hard-nosed defense.

"I'd hope I'd coach both (offense and defense) equally well," he explained. "I like our guys to create havoc on defense and get up and down the floor a lot on offense."

Before he does any of that, though, there's still some off-the-court business to focus on. Like assembling a coaching staff and bringing in one or two more recruits. It's already July, after all.

"The late hire does make it a little more difficult for him," Goeb said. "But there are pieces in place. And we're going to help him make the transition as easy as possible for him."

Goeb said that the program's recent success has given Boschee a bigger budget than a BSU basketball coach might have had even five years ago - which means more scholarships and an extra assistant coach or two.

"Whenever you move to a new league, it's tough, but we think it won't be too hard here," Boschee said. "I'm very familiar with a lot of the coaches in the NSIC, and it's very competitive, but I think Bemidji State is one of the stronger programs in the league."

Bemidji State officials said they planned on scheduling a press conference with Boschee sometime next week.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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