Southwest Minnesota State University head men's basketball coach Brad Bigler announced today that Chad Welk has been named the new assistant men's basketball coach at SMSU.
Welk, who has spent the past eight seasons as an assistant at Concordia-St. Paul, replaces Brooks McKowen, who was recently named head coach at Upper Iowa University.
"My friendship with Chad goes back to high school, when I came on my recruiting visit to Southwest in 1997," Bigler said. "Chad was my host for the visit and is one of the reasons why I chose to become a Mustang. Over the years competing against each other we have become even better friends. Our players wanted an experienced coach who is committed to improving our program. I believe Chad has a similar presence to Brooks and will immediately make an impact."
Welk, who was named associate head coach at Concordia-St. Paul prior to last season, helped the Golden Bears to 116 victories during his tenure, including one 21-win season. Concordia-St. Paul had a winning record in conference play in five of his eight seasons.
"I am excited for the opportunity to work with Coach Bigler, the SMSU athletics department and Mustang basketball," Welk said. "They have worked extremely hard to develop the tradition and success that they have achieved to this point, and I am hopeful that I can help to maintain that level of success going forward."
Welk, a native of Muscatine, Iowa, is a 2001 graduate of Augustana College (S.D.), where he played three seasons (1997-2000) and twice was named honorable mention all-conference. He scored 1,017 career points at Augustana and was a team captain his final two seasons. He started his collegiate career at SMSU, playing one season for the Mustangs in 1996-97, starting all 27 games and averaging 11.1 points per game.
"I am eternally grateful to Coach Kelly Boe, Athletics Director Tom Rubbelke, the Golden Bear players past and present, and Concordia University-St. Paul for giving me the opportunity to work with and for them for the past eight years," Welk said. "The knowledge I have gained, the experiences that I have had, and the relationships that I have built will last a lifetime. I am extremely thankful for all of my years spent in St. Paul and wish the Golden Bears nothing but the best in the future."
SMSU finished 16-14 overall this past season and tied for seventh in the 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.