By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Zack Owens, assistant boys basketball coach at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School during the 2012-13 season, has been named girls head basketball coach at McAuley Catholic High School.
Owens replaces Greg Wilks, who stepped down as the Warriors’ head coach after two seasons at the helm.
“I’m super excited,” Owens said on Friday. “My goal is obvious. We want to build a program from the ground up.”
Said McAuley athletics director Brenden Gubera: “Coach Owens interviewed very well. He has a lot of energy. He knows the game of basketball. He even was knowledgeable about the McAuley program.”
Owens, 29, said he has two semesters left at Missouri Southern to secure a degree to teach physical education. That basically would cap his change in occupations.
Owens, a 2002 graduate of Ozark High School, played soccer and tennis for the Tigers. He continued those pursuits for a year at Westminster College of Fulton (Mo.) before eventually transferring to Missouri Southern.
He was in sales for some seven years before deciding to concentrate on securing the degree and coach. Those years in the business world did allow the development of leadership skills, Owens said.
“I’m returning to my passion,” Owens said. “Basketball always has been my favorite (sport) even while playing soccer and tennis. I still play basketball.”
Owens, who assisted Chris Myers in basketball at Thomas Jefferson, will continue helping Cavalier coach Tyler Beck with soccer in the fall.
Added Gubera: “Coach Owens has a couple of guys in mind whom we plan to interview and possibly will hire as his assistant.”
Owens is married to the former Cassandra Alcorn. She’s a graduate of Washburn Southwest and Missouri State and is career services and retention coordinator at Crowder College of Neosho. They have a daughter, Kennedy, 18 months.