New Assistant Coach for Grizzly Basketball
Wed, 06/10/2020 - 2:46pm admin
Jason Owens has joined the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball program as the new assistant coach.
Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Jared Phay made the announcement today. Owens' hiring is subject to approval by the Missouri State University Board of Governors. His first day on the job was Monday, June 1.
"Coach Owens has a great amount of experience in our region and in the state of Missouri," Phay said. "He has junior college, NAIA, NCAA D2 and NCAA D1 experience. He has a great reputation in our region, and he is known as a dedicated worker. I'm very excited to have Coach Owens on our staff."
Owens, too, is excited to join the Grizzly Basketball program. "It's a great opportunity to coach at a place like West Plains. I consider the program a giant in junior college basketball, and Region 16 is one of the premiere regions in the NJCAA," he said.
"I'm also excited about the opportunity to work with Coach Phay. He is well known in these circles, and he does things the right way. I look forward to working side-by-side with him," Owens added.
Owens comes to the Grizzlies after spending last season as an assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State University. Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach on former Missouri head coach Kim Anderson's staff at Pittsburg State University in Kansas for two seasons.
Owens went to Pittsburg State after spending three seasons as assistant coach at Moberly Area Community College under Pat Smith. While at Moberly, he helped the Greyhounds compile a 72-26 record and earn NJCAA Region 16 and District 5 titles, as well as a NJCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2015-2016. He helped 24 Greyhounds advance to play at the NCAA Division 1 or Division 2 level during his tenure at Moberly.
The contests between the Grizzlies and Greyhounds during this time left an indelible mark on Owens. "I always thought West Plains was a great place. There was a lot of support for the program. I remember going into the West Plains Civic Center and being like 'Wow!' It was always tough to play there," he said.
Before applying for the assistant coaching position, Owens said he spoke with Smith and former Grizzly Basketball standout and assistant coach Robert Guster about the program.
"Coach Smith always talked well about the program, and he had nothing but glowing things to say. He encouraged me to go for the position," Owens said. "Coach Guster, who is a mentor of mine, said it would be a 'no brainer' to come here."
The Detroit, Michigan, native played four years at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan, where he earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies in 2006. He was a two-year team captain and all-conference honoree for the Saints.
Owens began his coaching career as an assistant at Neosho County Community College in Kansas. He then returned to his alma mater to serve as an assistant coach from 2007-2010. While at Siena, he coached four NAIA All-Americans and helped lead the Saints to a 44-20 record.
Owens said he is looking forward to making connections with the players, faculty and staff and the community.
"My role will be to serve the young men, Coach Phay, faculty and staff, and the community. Really, coaching is a community job, a family job, and I am looking foward to mentoring the young men and helping them leave the university better than when they got here," he said.
Owens and his wife, Shaileen, have two children, Jason Jr., 10, and Maliya, 7.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit www.msuwpgrizzlies.com or call 417-255-7991.