By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
Ronnie Ressel, an assistant coach on Missouri Southern’s men’s basketball team the last 11 years, is moving to the women’s program.
Ressel has been hired as the women’s basketball associate head coach for the Lions, interim head coach Ronda Hubbard announced Wednesday.
In addition, Jaime Green will not return as a women’s assistant coach. A former player at Missouri Southern, Green was on the Lions’ staff last season as the No. 2 assistant after spending the previous two years as head coach at Newman University in Wichita.
The hiring of Ressel comes the week after Maryann Mitts retired as head coach to become a full-time instructor and Hubbard was named interim head coach.
“Ronda came to me and wanted to talk about moving over to the women’s side,” Ressel said Wednesday night. “She was looking for somebody who has knowledge about the MIAA and knows what it takes to compete and win. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of moving back over to the women’s side to help continue the success of the women’s program.
“It’s a chance for me to continue to grow in my profession, and it’s a good move for my family — the opportunity to stay put. ... I look forward to bringing my competitive edge and coaching knowledge to the women’s program and help take it to heights of staying in the top three or four in the league every year.”
Coaching women’s basketball is certainly nothing knew to Ressel. He was head coach at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill., for seven seasons, compiling a record of 118-92 and sharing the Great Rivers Athletic Conference championship in 1996.
“I enjoyed it at Rend Lake,” Ressel said. “If Coach (Robert Corn) hadn’t called and recruited me to come back to Missouri Southern, my alma mater, I would have stayed at Rend Lake and been happy with that. I probably would still be at Rend Lake, coaching and enjoying it.”
Ressel has coached the post players the last few years on the men’s team, and he will continue that role on the women’s team.
“Watching him develop a player like Keane (Thomann, former MIAA player of the year) was a clear indicator that he could come in and work with our post players right away,” Hubbard said in a release.
“Probably most important to me is having someone who bleeds green and gold the way I do and is willing to do whatever it takes to take our program to the next level. Coach Ressel and I are ecstatic to take on this challenge together.”
Ressel came to Missouri Southern as one of Robert Corn’s first recruits in 1989. He played two years for the Lions, spent the next year as a student assistant coach and later returned for 11 years as Corn’s top assistant.
“You spend 14 years of your life at one place, you get the tendency to grow into it,” he said.