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BOLIVAR, Mo. – Clark Sheehy has been named the new Director of Athletics at Southwest Baptist University, the school announced Wednesday, June 1.
Sheehy, the current men’s head basketball coach at SBU, will oversee the University’s 17 varsity sports, which include more than 400 student-athletes. The Bearcats compete on the NCAA Division-II level and in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).
“It is with great joy that I appoint Clark Sheehy to serve as the Director of Athletics for the SBU Athletics program,” said SBU President Rick Melson, Ph.D. “Clark will continue to serve as the men’s basketball coach and will lead our athletics at SBU in the same way he leads and coaches our men’s basketball team – with servant leadership, character and teamwork. Clark brings a wealth of experience to the role and will advance SBU Athletics into the future. Let’s Go, Bearcats!”
Sheehy will remain the SBU men’s head basketball coach, while Aaron Niven will be promoted to associate head coach.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue coaching because I am passionate about that, also,” Sheehy said. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve and help lead our athletic department. SBU has meant so much to our family – my parents met here as students. Since we moved here eight years ago, we have absolutely fallen in love with the school and our Bolivar community.
“We are excited about the new challenges ahead of us and the chance to continue to make SBU Athletics an excellent part of our university.
Sheehy is 118-105 in eight years as head coach at SBU, with a career record of 300-211. For the 2021-22 season, he was named GLVC men’s basketball Co-Coach of the Year (the first in SBU program history), NABC All-District Midwest Region Coach of the Year, and earned his 100th SBU career win with an 81-72 victory over Pittsburg State on Nov. 20, 2021.
Sheehy’s Bearcats have won the GLVC West Division the past two seasons, including an undefeated divisional run in 2020-21 and advanced to the postseason tournament in each of their three seasons as members of the GLVC. In 2019, SBU picked up a conference tournament victory for the first time since 2009. During SBU’s five seasons in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) with Sheehy at the helm, the Bearcats appeared in the league tournament four times.
For 2021-22, SBU was named the recipient of the James R. Spalding Overall Sportsmanship Award. It is the second consecutive year that SBU has won this prestigious award and the second honor in three years since joining the conference.
Spalding Sportsmanship Awards are given each year to the institutions and student-athletes who actively demonstrate exemplary sportsmanship, character, and conduct during competition throughout the year. The individual award winners are selected from each institution’s season-long list of nominees compiled by each sport’s head coaches. Furthermore, each institution’s coaches rank the top-three teams within their sport that best displayed good sportsmanship throughout the season.
“We want SBU to continue to build on a rich tradition in athletics and to continue to improve,” Sheehy said. “Our goal is for the student-athletes to have a great experience and to grow holistically while they are here. We want success for our programs in the classroom, in social development, in spiritual growth and in competition. So, we will work hard to pour into the coaches and empower their leadership in their programs.
“I am thankful to Dr. Melson for this opportunity. I’m also grateful for Mike Pitts (current SBU AD) and the work he has done here the last 15 years, and for hiring me eight years ago. It is a great time to be a Bearcat!”
Sheehy was a two-time all-conference selection and 1,000-point scorer at John Brown University, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in education in 1999. He earned his master of science degree in 2000 from Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Prior to coming to SBU, Sheehy served as men’s head basketball coach at his alma mater from 2007-2014, leading the Golden Eagles to their first conference tournament championship (2010) and regular-season championship (2012-13). He also was named the conference coach of the year in 2010-11 and 2012-13. Sheehy was head coach at Fresno Pacific from 2005-07 and assistant coach at Texas State University (2000-05).
Sheehy and his wife, Elisa, live in Bolivar with their two sons, Cameron and CJ.
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