The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 24, 2013

Austin promoted to girls basketball coach at Wheaton

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— Mike Austin, an assistant the past two seasons, has been promoted to head girls basketball coach at Wheaton High School.

Jason Webb resigned after two campaigns at the helm of the Class 2 Bulldogs to seek another coaching position.

Austin, a graduate of Neosho High School (1983) and Missouri Southern State University, has coached for several years in southwest Missouri.

“We have a good group of girls,” Austin said Tuesday. “They are willing to work hard. That’s one of the positives about taking over the program. We want commitment to the team concept.

“We have a solid group of incoming ninth-graders,” Austin said. “Our young girls will have to play significant minutes on the varsity level for our program to improve.”

The Bulldogs finished 1-23 overall and 0-5 in the Ozark 7 Conference in 2012-13.

Austin, 48, currently is the Wheaton head baseball coach with Dale Forgey assisting. Austin also is the head softball coach in the fall but doesn’t expect to retain the head baseball job.

Austin attended Crowder College in Neosho for two years before a four- year Army stint. He began coaching — after graduating from Southern — with a year at Seneca in junior high football and basketball.

Then came nine years overall at Neosho with six under boys high school basketball coach Denny Chenoweth.

Austin was at Crane and Weaubleau a season apiece as the head girls basketball coach before three years as head boys coach at McDonald County.

A year off from coaching followed as he helped care for his late father Charles.

Austin, single, has a daughter, Autumn, a senior at Ozark High School. He said a foot injury prevented her from completing at least a prep career in track and basketball.