Theresa Yetmar, Baker University athletics director, and a search committee believe they have found the right person in Columbia College (Mo.) assistant men’s basketball coach Sean Dooley to take over the head coaching position at BU.
“I think Coach Dooley brings a lot of experience from a NAIA-winning program and I think he will be a person who will continue our championship mindset as a program,” Yetmar said. “I also think just the work ethic and the passion to take care of the student-athletes and really see them grow and evolve, not only as a basketball player, but as a person.”
Dooley served as the assistant men’s basketball coach at Columbia College for five seasons, helping lead the Cougars to a record of 40-18 in the American Midwest Conference and 122-49 overall.
“He brings tradition over from Columbia because Columbia has been really successful,” sophomore Todd Eils said. “I think Baker is wanting to go in that direction and I definitely think he will lead it that way.”
With the Wildcats coming off an appearance in the NAIA Tournament in March, they hope Dooley will be able to lead them back to Kansas City, as he looks to return to the tournament for the fifth time in six years as well.
“From what (the team) knows, he came from a pretty prestigious program in Columbia College from Columbia, Mo.,” junior Jordan Honore said. “They are a pretty comparable school as far as NAIA standards go. They are a regular in the national tournament, so I think he just brings that winning mentality and hard work that (former head coach Brett Ballard) kind of left here.”
Dooley and the Cougars made it to the second round of this year’s NAIA Tournament after winning the AMC regular season and conference tournament titles. Columbia also advanced to the national tournament in 2008 and 2010 and made it all the way to the championship game in 2009.
“(The NAIA Tournament) is where we envision ourselves being this next year again and it will help to have him leading us because he has that type of winning experience,” Eils said. “We just don’t want to get there. We want to win. I think Coach Dooley is the guy that can do that for us.”
Before he became an assistant with Columbia, Dooley also found success at the same position with former Heart of America Athletic Conference rival William Jewell College. As an assistant coach and recruitment coordinator with William Jewell, he was a part of two teams who earned bids to the NAIA Division II National Tournament.
Prior to becoming a coach, Dooley played at Columbia from 2000-2002, in which he was a two-time all first-team conference performer. He also was nominated as the Columbia College Male Athlete of the Year in 2002.
“He seems like a player’s coach and somebody who can lead just the way or even better than what Ballard did,” Eils said.