MARQUETTE, Mich. – Citing “his contagious passion and proven success,” Northern Michigan University Athletic Director Ken Godfrey named Doug Lewis Jr. as Northern Michigan University’s men’s head basketball coach Friday (May 7).
Lewis comes to NMU from Central State University (Wilberforce, Ohio), an NCAA Division II independent school, where he has been with the men’s basketball program since 1998, including the past seven as head coach.
“We had three excellent finalists for this position,” said Godfrey. “I would have liked to have hired all three, but having to choose just one, Doug’s high-energy approach to taking Wildcat men’s basketball to the level where we want it to be, as well as his excellent coaching and recruiting records, and his success with athletes in the classroom and community make him a great fit for NMU. His infectious enthusiasm will win over a lot of people. He is a great addition to the Wildcat coaching staff.”
This past year, Lewis led his CSU Marauders to a 22-6 record and into the NCAA Division II Tournament. His 2008-09 and 2007-08 squads won the Independent Athletic Association titles, posting marks of 19-8 and 21-4, respectively. In 2009, Lewis was named the Independent Athletic Association Coach of the Year. In 2006-07, Central went 22-5 and was the runner-up in the NCAA Division II National Independent Tournament. He has had five winning seasons and owns a seven-year coaching mark at CSU of 125-61 (.672).
“I am thrilled to be the new coach of the NMU men’s basketball program. There is so much potential for Wildcat basketball to become a contender on the national level. I believe that. The facilities and the resources at NMU are impressive compared to what I’ve had to work with,” said Lewis.
“As for my basketball style, I like my teams to play up-tempo, pushing the ball on made and missed baskets. Obviously, I’ll have to evaluate and then adjust the game plan based on the talent of the current players, but I’m going to be out recruiting for an up-tempo type game. Recruiting good athletes with good character and good study habits, as well as a willingness to do what is best for the team, is what I do. I believe every player that I bring into the NMU program is a reflection on my leadership and on Northern Michigan University. I take that part of the job very seriously.”
Prior to CSU, Lewis was the assistant coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1993-98. The 1996-97 freshman class he played a primary role in attracting to UW-Milwaukee was voted “best recruiting class” in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. He was also an assistant at Washington High School (Milwaukee) in 1992-93 when that prep team won the Wisconsin Division I state title and also the Milwaukee City Conference crown.
Lewis played at Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State University) from 1987-89 seasons when the Bears won the Mid-Continent Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Division I Tournament in back-to-back years. In 1988, Lewis was the Mid-Continent Conference Newcomer of the Year. He was an honorable mention all-conference pick in 1989.
Lewis played his first two years of collegiate basketball at Mesa (Ariz.) Community College where he was all-conference and all-region in 1986 and 1987. Those squads captured the Arizona Conference Junior College Championship, and the 1987 team played in the National Junior College Division I Tournament. Lewis was ranked one of the five best point guards in the nation among junior college players.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in communications-business industrial in 1989 from SMSU and an associate of arts degree from Mesa C.C. in 1987.
He attended Milwaukee’s Rufus King High School and was a member of the 1984 RKHS squad that won the Wisconsin State High School Championship and went 24-0.
“My goals for the NMU program are to work our way up to 100 percent graduation of our players, win a conference championship and get into the NCAA Tournament, then start to win conference titles and make national tournament appearances on a regular basis. I’m excited to get started and I look forward to getting to know the NMU family and the members of the Marquette community.
Lewis and his wife, Cheryl, have two daughters: Danielle (16) and Chelsea (8).
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