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Mark Phelps, a veteran coach with 17 seasons of experience at the Division I level and the winningest coach in Drake University history through his first five years, enters his first season as an assistant coach with the Mizzou Basketball program.
A native of Virginia Beach, Va., Phelps guided Drake to a pair of postseason appearances and 77 wins during his five seasons in Des Moines, Iowa. He is credited with leading the Bulldogs to their first postseason win since 1975 and coached Drake to a pair of winning seasons, including an 18-16 record and a top-three finish in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2012.
"We are all so excited to welcome Mark into our basketball family," Head Coach Frank Haith said after announcing the hiring of Phelps. "I've known Mark for a number of years and have always admired his approach to the game of basketball. He is tireless with his preparation and gets the most out of his players because he is there putting in the work with them. When we had this opportunity become available Mark was my first call and it speaks well of Mizzou that we were able to recruit him away from some other great programs."
Phelps, 47, began coaching at the Division I level in 1996 at N.C. State and has been a part of 12 postseason tournament appearances in his career, including five consecutive NCAA Tournament selections with the Wolfpack before becoming the Associate Head Coach under Herb Sendek at Arizona State in 2006.
Phelps spent two years as the Associate Head Coach at ASU following his 10 seasons at N.C. State, and the Sun Devils saw remarkable improvement going from 8-22 his first season to 21-13 and a postseason appearance in year two.
As mentioned, Phelps won more games in his first five seasons than any coach in Drake history. Owning just one NCAA Tournament appearance since 1971 and two postseason bids of any kind since 1981, Phelps helped the Bulldogs advance to the CollegeInsider.com (CIT) twice in his five years (2009 and 2012), including a win over North Dakota in the opening round in 2012. Drake (18-16 overall, 9-9 MVC in 2012) finished third in the final Missouri Valley Conference standings that season and two of his players, Rayvonte Rice and Ben Simons, earned Second Team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors. In addition, three of his final four recruiting classes at Drake were ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 by various recruiting services.
"I'm extremely honored to have the opportunity to join Coach Haith's staff here at Missouri and I want to thank Coach Haith, Mike Alden and the administration for giving me this opportunity to continue my coaching career as a Tiger," Phelps said. "It goes without saying, but I have a great deal of respect for Coach Haith and how he runs his program. He has distinguished himself as one of the elite coaches throughout his climb in our profession. We saw first hand the fantastic job he did at Miami when we were at N.C. State and he has brought that same winning pedigree here to Mizzou."
"Mark's experience on the bench and recruiting ties across the country makes this a great hire for us," Haith said. "He was a highly respected high school coach in Virginia and he has ties throughout basketball from his time in the ACC, Pac-12 and Missouri Valley, three tremendous basketball leagues, so we are excited to get him on campus, get him acclimated to Mizzou and out on the road next month."
Prior to joining Sendek's staff in Raleigh, N.C., Phelps was a highly successful high school coach in Virginia. He led Rock Church Academy (1990-94) in his hometown of Virginia Beach, Va., to a 104-41 record and then moved to Atlantic Shores Christian School (1994-96), leading the team to a 44-12 mark.
Phelps and his wife Alissa have two children, a son Owen and a daughter Laney.
Mark Phelps Division I Coaching Timeline Drake University, Head Coach, 2008-2013 Year Record Pct. MVC Pct. Postseason/Honors 2012-13 15-17 .469 7-11 .389 2011-12 18-16 .529 9-9 .500 CIT Second Round 2010-11 13-18 .419 7-11 .389 2009-10 14-19 .424 7-11 .389 2008-09 17-16 .515 7-11 .389 CIT First Round Total 77-86 .472 37-53 .411
Arizona State University, Associate Head Coach, 2006-07 Year Record Pct. Pac-10 Pct. Postseason/Honors 2007-08 21-13 .618 9-9 .500 NIT Quarterfinals 2006-07 8-22 .266 2-16 .111 Total 62-69 .473 30-42 .417
North Carolina State University, Assistant Coach, 1996-2005 Year Record Pct. ACC Pct. Postseason/Honors 1996-97 17-15 .531 4-12 .250 NIT 1997-98 17-15 .531 5-11 .313 NIT 1998-99 19-14 .576 6-10 .375 NIT 1999-00 20-14 .588 6-10 .375 NIT Semifinal 2000-01 13-16 .448 5-11 .313 2001-02 23-11 .676 9-7 .563 NCAA Second Round 2002-03 18-13 .581 9-7 .563 NCAA First Round 2003-04 21-10 .677 11-5 .688 NCAA Second Round 2004-05 21-14 .600 7-9 .438 NCAA Sweet 16 2005-06 22-10 .688 10-6 .625 NCAA Second Round Total 191-132 .591 72-88 .450
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