Coach Niemuth Picks up 600th Career Win


Photo by Coby Berg

by Jake Brend, Staff Reporter

Simpson women’s basketball head coach Brian Niemuth is a member of the 600 career wins club, becoming the ninth active women’s basketball coach in NCAA Division III to do so.

Niemuth earned the milestone in a 76-69 victory over Millikin on Dec. 21, 2019, which was the Storm’s seventh win of the season.

Niemuth, the seven-time IIAC Coach of the Year, still hasn’t fully grasped the magnitude of this record, a sign on a coach focused on something more than him.

“I’m sure someday it will mean a lot, but right now in the middle of our season it was a win against a good team,” Niemuth said.

It’s safe to say that Niemuth has been focused on coaching as of late, as the Storm are currently riding a 10-game winning streak after beating Wartburg on Jan. 22.

The Storm are currently 13-3 and are off to one of the best starts in school history. This team is currently 5-2 and tied for third place in the American Rivers Conference. Third place or better is a position that Niemuth’s teams have ended the season at 19 times in his career 

“600 was never a goal,” said Niemuth. “The goal is always to do the best we can.

Coaching for 32 seasons brings in a lot of different teams, players, and styles. Niemuth has appreciated all of them for their uniqueness. The team that Simpson has this season is one that puts the team above all, according to Niemuth.

“I’ve had a lot of good teams and it’s impossible to compare as they all had their uniqueness,” said Niemuth. “This team has been fun to coach as they have put the team first over personal wants.”

A huge reason that Niemuth was able to achieve this milestone was his longevity. Niemuth took over the Simpson program in 1987 — 32 seasons ago. In the time since, Niemuth has coached in 864 games since the day he started his regime.

Niemuth has won 603 games, 11 IIAC Championships, made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances and has advanced to the Sweet 16 three times.

With all of those wins, Niemuth has had to adjust throughout time. The game of basketball has changed, recruiting has changed and people have changed.

“I’ve learned more than we could list here,” said Niemuth. “X’s and O’s aside, how to treat players, how to motivate, how to deal with people outside the program. All the stuff you have to go through and isn’t in a book.

All of these skills that Niemuth has learned to this point have helped him get to the point where he is now. It can be argued that all of those skills are being shown off this season.

The Simpson team currently has the experience, motivation and chemistry to go along with the talent. That all leads to wins, but above all Niemuth just wants the team to perform at its best.

Milestones and all are important, but to Niemuth it’s more than just accolades.