Cooper completes staff; Panthers release exhibition schedule

Cooper completes staff; Panthers release exhibition schedule
Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC)

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) -Dave Bezold has been named Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College, as announced by Head Coach Drew Cooper on Wednesday. Bezold is a seasoned basketball coach with extensive Division II experience. In addition to Cooper filling out his coaching staff, he announced three exhibition games to be added to the Wesleyan basketball schedule.

Bezold comes to Kentucky Wesleyan after a two-year run as the Xavier University Women’s Basketball Director of Administration. He oversaw opponent scouting and non-conference scheduling. He also assisted with practice planning, game strategy and gathering analytics.

“This is a win-win,” said Cooper. “It is win for our community to add someone of Bezold’s experience and winning expertise. Bezold is a mentor of mine and I am excited that he will be significantly shaping our characteristics on and off the floor this season. It is a win for the Bezold family that he gets to coach Tyler his senior year at such a high level of basketball. As a father, I would imagine that’s somewhat of a dream come true.”

Most notably, Bezold is the former Northern Kentucky University Men’s Basketball Coach. He posted a 194-133 record overall record in 11 seasons (2004-15) as the Norse head coach. Prior to that he was lead assistant at NKU for 14 seasons, helping the Norse to two appearances in the National Championship (1996, 1997.)

“This is a tradition rich program,” said Bezold. “There is a high level of excitement coming to a program that has played in numerous big games. I look forward to working with Drew and the players as this program continues to experience perennial success.”

While NKU was a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, Bezold made eight appearances as a head coach in the historic Sportscenter, holding a 7-1 mark against the Panthers.

Bezold and Cooper are reunited after 16 years, the duo spent the 2002-03 season together at Northern Kentucky. Cooper served as NKU’s graduate assistant while Bezold was the top assistant for Ken Shields.

The Taylor Mill, Ky., native holds a bachelor’s degree from Viterbo (Wis.) College (1990) and a master’s degree from Northern Kentucky (1996).

In addition to Bezold, the Panthers will play three formidable opponents in the exhibition season. The first time Wesleyan will hit the floor will be October 30th at Saint Louis University. The Billikins finished 23-13 overall last season, winning the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament. SLU eventually saw their season end with a 66-52 loss to Virginia Tech in the NCAA Tournament.

On November 7th the Panthers will travel to Birmingham, Alabama to play Samford University. Scott Padgett has been the Bulldogs top man since 2014 and is coming off a 17-16 season. Rounding out the exhibition slate with be a December 17th meeting at Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers complied a 20-14 record last season before falling in the Conference USA Championship game to Old Dominion.

Courtesy: KWC Athletics

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