Quincy University men's basketball coach Ryan Hellenthal wanted to fill his staff with coaches who the players could relate to and build strong relationships. He needed them passionate about the game and their jobs, too.
Hellenthal found a pair of coaches who fit that bill in every respect. The first-year QU coach has hired former Minnesota State-Moorhead assistant Tim Bergstraser and former QU player Von Washington III, and both began working this week.
"Both guys are committed to the players in our program," Hellenthal said. "Both have hit the ground running. Both are about building relationships, and that was something I was huge on. They want to build relationships across campus, not just here in Pepsi Arena.
"Von has instant credibility with people across campus, and Tim will be able to do the same thing."
Washington graduated from QU in May after spending two seasons on the basketball team following his transfer from Western Michigan. He started all 32 games for a QU team that went 27-5 last season and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 13.9 points and made a team-leading 66 3-pointers, earning second-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference honors.
"I knew three months into working with him last year that I knew if I ever got the opportunity to be a head coach that he would be a guy that I certainly would want on my staff," Hellenthal said. "He has an infectious personality. He has a high basketball IQ, and he is really about helping young kids."
Bergstraser spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Minnesota State-Moorhead, where the Dragons won 54 games and made a pair of NCAA Division II national tournament appearances. He also spent one season as an assistant coach at Wisconsin-River Falls.
A graduate of St. Cloud State, Bergstraser averaged 12.8 points and grabbed 7.5 rebounds per game as a senior. He also played on the St. Cloud State team that reached the D-II final four in 2010.
"He's got a really good background," Hellenthal said. "He's been a winner everywhere he's been."
Hellenthal believes he has a staff that covers all bases.
"I wanted to bring in two guys who complemented each other," he said. "Tim was a heck of a post player at St. Cloud State and does a tremendous job coaching guys in the paint. To be able to complement that with Von on the other side in terms of working with the guards is a great thing."
Notteboom heads to Lipscomb
After five seasons working on the Quincy University men's basketball coaching staff, Adam Notteboom is making the leap to the NCAA Division I level. He is joining the staff at Lipscomb University as the director of basketball operations.
A native of South Bend, Ind., and a graduate of Xavier University, Notteboom joined the QU staff as a graduate assistant in 2012. He was promoted to assistant coach in 2014 and was responsible for scouting reports, marketing, summer camps and travel. He also worked with post players and handled other administrative duties.
He becomes the fourth assistant coach to serve under former QU coach Marty Bell to make the jump to the NCAA Division I level.
Jestin Anderson is currently in his second season as an assistant with Western Illinois University after spending the previous two seasons at QU. Jon Perry is in his fifth season as an assistant coach at Navy after working at Quincy from 2010-13. Luke Strege, now the head coach at Mineral Area College, spent five seasons as an assistant at Eastern Kentucky after leaving QU in 2010.
Schmitt joins Aggies staff
Quincy native Andy Schmitt has joined the New Mexico State men's basketball staff as the director of basketball operations.
A 2009 graduate of Quincy High School, Schmitt has climbed the coaching ladder since graduating from the University of Illinois in 2013. He served as a student assistant at Illinois before graduation, then became a graduate assistant and director of basketball operations at Austin Peay.
He spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at NCAA Division II Texas A&M-Commerce and helped the Lions reach the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history.
"Coach Schmitt was exactly what we were looking for to complete our staff," New Mexico State coach Chris Jans said in a release. "He is smart, hungry and productive."
Around the GLVC
The Indianapolis football team opened its season by erasing a 13-point deficit and upsetting second-ranked Grand Valley State 24-20 Thursday night. The Greyhounds ran the ball 55 times for 326 yards with freshman Al McKeller gaining 206 yards. ... The Truman State football team gave up 24 straight points in a 38-14 loss at Michigan Tech in Thursday's season opener. Bulldogs freshman wide receiver Jake Ellis, a Rock Island product, caught the first touchdown pass of his career on a 3-yard strike from Jaden Barr. QHS product Malique Robbins had three carries for 8 yards for Truman State. ... Six GLVC football teams opened their season Thursday night, and five of them lost. ... The Truman State women's soccer team, ranked 11th nationally and the preseason favorite to win the GLVC title, opened the season with a 1-1 tie at Ashland. Quincy, which opened with a 1-0 victory against Ohio Dominican, plays Ashland at 11 a.m. Saturday. ... The Rockhurst men's soccer team, ranked third nationally and the unanimous pick to win the GLVC, opened its season with a scoreless tie against 11th-ranked Fort Hays State in Hays, Kan.