400th conference win collected


Caleb Geer

Simpson’s 11th win of the season marks another turning point in Niemuth’s Simpson career.

by Abby Hintz, Layout Editor

As the scoreboard read 5.3 seconds at the Simpson College women’s basketball game against Luther on Saturday, Feb. 4, Anna Wanek shot the game-winning triple that put Simpson over Luther, 75-73. With the clutch shot, Head Coach Brian Niemuth won his 400th conference win.

Simpson’s 11th win of the season marks another turning point in Niemuth’s Simpson career. Niemuth has amassed significant accomplishments in his time here, but he couldn’t do it alone.

“Out of those 400 wins, that’s a lot of players that have contributed to that. So, I hope they’re all proud of it also,” Niemuth said.

During his 36 seasons as a coach in the American Rivers Conference, Niemuth has collected double-digit league wins 22 times, with three undefeated campaigns, nine Conference Coach of the Years and 13 league championships. He is 660-285 overall after the win against Luther.

“First of all, I didn’t even know it was my 400th conference win. I’m not on social media, so I don’t catch a lot of that stuff. I was excited for them winning the game. And then afterwards, I had a friend actually from Hawaii that watched it text me and congratulated me on my 400th conference win. And that’s how I found out,” Niemuth said. 

Niemuth is passionate about coaching, and he never doubted in his mind that this would be the path that he took. In college, Niemuth majored in psychology and decided that he could use it towards coaching.

“I love psychology, and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with it, and then when I figured out that I could certainly use it in coaching, then that worked out well,” he said.

Niemuth stated the accomplishments are nice to have, but they aren’t the reason why he went into coaching.

“I can tell you it’s about the players because if you don’t have good players, it’s hard to get these accomplishments. So, I’ve been very blessed with really good players,” Niemuth said.

His favorite thing about coaching is helping a group of people work towards being the best they can be together and seeing them grow. He also likes seeing how excited a group gets when they do well.

His favorite thing about basketball is the life lessons it can provide.

“You have to deal with situations that don’t always go your way, and you’ve gotta figure out how you’re going to deal with that. You learn to work with a group of young ladies that you don’t just get to do what you want to do, you gotta work as a team,” Niemuth said.

He also thinks basketball helps teach how to interact with other individuals, and it’s great to put on a resume.

To prepare for a game, Niemuth and the team watch film, come up with a game plan, and put it into practice. When game day rolls around, he will look at opposing team stats at home and watch a little more film. Niemuth also has some superstitions.

“If we won our last game, I’ll wear the same outfit, if we lost, I’ll change my outfit. I drive the same way into work if we won, and I might change it up a bit if we lost. So I am pretty superstitious,” Niemuth said.

Niemuth’s coaching goals for the rest of the season are to win as many games as possible and be the best team they can be. He also wants to strive to get better every day. 

“We have a very young team, and I want them to get better, gain confidence, understand the system, and go into the off-season excited about it, so they can work hard, and that’ll make us better next year too,” Niemuth said.