Dave Ketterman, although immersed in coaching at Nevada High School and then women’s basketball at Cottey College, knew there was a good chance he would return to a four-year school if the right opportunity beckoned.

Ketterman jumped last week.

Ketterman, also athletics director the past 10 years at NJCAA Division II Cottey, was announced last week as the women’s assistant coach for Randy Gipson at Northeastern State University of Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

The NCAA Division II Riverhawks are members of the MIAA.

It was the right time, Ketterman indicated, with wife Cathy retiring this year from the Nevada R-5 School District.

“We — coach Gipson and I — share a lot of the same philosophy in basketball,” Ketterman said.

Added Ketterman in a NSU news release: “I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to work with Coach Gipson. He and his teams are so respected in the league by the way they play and how they represent themselves and the university. Our goal will be to continue to identify, recruit and develop outstanding student-athletes who play with great effort in a team-oriented scheme.”

Ketterman, a 1970 graduate of El Dorado Springs High School, has degrees from Southwest Missouri State and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Ketterman began his collegiate coaching with three years at Mizzou. He was the legendary Joann Rutherford’s first full-time assistant. Rutherford’s 1978 team won the Big 8 Conference.

Ketterman moved to Stephen F. Austin (1980-83) to assist Sue Gunter before becoming head coach at Wayland Baptist (1983-86). The 1985 Pioneers placed third in the NAIA Championships.

Ketterman was at El Dorado Springs (1986-90) as coach of girls basketball and volleyball before moving to Nevada High School (1991-2004). His various positions with the Tigers included two seasons as the head girls basketball coach.

Cottey posted a 131-104 record under Ketterman. The Comets won one Region 16 regular-season title and were second three times. Four of the past six teams received national recognition in the NJCAA Division II Top 20.

Caley Shaffstall, a member of the Comets last season, recently signed a letter of intent with NSU and has three seasons remaining.

“Cottey is in good shape,” Ketterman said.

The Kettermans have two daughters — Jessie Grant, who teaches reading recovery in Nixa elementary schools, and Hannah, a speech pathologist at Liberty, Missouri.