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Boschee rises in coaching ranks

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Since arriving in Joplin, Mo., four years ago to begin his collegiate basketball coaching career, North Dakota native Jeff Boschee has made a quick climb up the bench at Missouri Southern.

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Boschee, 34, spent this past season as the associate head coach at the NCAA Division II school. Last December, it was announced that the former Valley City High School and University of Kansas standout would be promoted to interim head coach with the retirement of head coach Robert Corn.

Corn, who served as head coach at Missouri Southern for 25 seasons, officially steps down in July, and Boschee is eager to take the reins of the program.

“I think it is everybody’s goal, as a coach, to become the head coach and run a program, taking on the daily responsibilities,” said Boschee, who was in Dallas this week attending a national coaching convention and the Final Four.

The interim tag requires a one-year process before it is removed, but Boschee said he feels confident moving forward and doesn’t see much changing with him running the program.

The Lions finished the 2013-14 season ranked No. 19 in Division II with a 25-6 record and won the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association tournament championship to earn a spot in the national tournament. Missouri Southern fell to MIAA-rival Central Missouri in the Central Regional semifinals.

“I don’t think the expectations change at all for us,” Boschee said. “If we are good enough to win an MIAA championship, then we are good enough to win a regional championship and possibly an NCAA championship. As a head coach, you want to have the highest expectations for your team and for yourself.”

With the Jayhawks, Boschee thrived in the up-tempo brand of basketball employed by Roy Williams, who now coaches at the University of North Carolina.

Over the last four seasons, Boschee has infused his up-tempo background in the Lions offense.

“Coach Corn has done a great job of letting me do a lot with the team over the last four seasons offensively and defensively,” Boschee said. “I think because of that, it will be an easy transition and the guys who are coming back are comfortable with the situation.”

Boschee and his wife Jamie have a four-year-old daughter Mary Rose, and are expecting another child this summer. The family didn’t make it back to North Dakota for Christmas due to the basketball schedule, but Boschee said he tries to make it back twice a year to visit family and friends.

The former Hi-Liners standout still keeps an eye on basketball in his home state, including the North Dakota State and University of North Dakota men’s programs.

“I think both schools have done an unbelievable job of transitioning,” Boschee said. “NDSU is a little more well-known because they have been in Division I longer and have done well in their postseason games…

“Watching (the Bison) defeat Oklahoma was pretty cool. It is always great to see a team from your home state do well.”

Two of Boschee’s prep basketball records have been broken in the last two years.

Boschee held the Class A career scoring title with 1,994 points until Fargo Shanley’s A.J. Jacobson eclipsed it scoring 2,002 points from 2009-2013.

Boschee also held the Class A state tournament first round, single-game scoring record with 40 points until Fargo Davies senior Tanner Kretchman poured in 45 points in the quarterfinals last month in Minot.

“Records are made to be broken,” Boschee said. “It was fun while it lasted. I’m happy for A.J. and Tanner. That’s what records are there for and I congratulate them both for breaking them. It is hard to see your records fall, but at the same time it means you did something well at one point in your life.”

No love lost between                Notre Dame, UConn

(TSX) — Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw had not-so-kind words for Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma in Monday’s press conference previewing the NCAA championship between the two teams.

The Irish (37-0) meet the Huskies (39-0) on Tuesday in the first title-game matchup of undefeated teams in Women’s NCAA Tournament history.

McGraw didn’t mince words when asked to evaluate her relationship with Auriemma.

“We don’t have a relationship,” McGraw said. “I think that (the civility) got lost. When we were in the same conference (the Big East) I think there was a modicum of it but I think after beating them and not feeling any respect from that, we lost something.”

It also isn’t a priority for McGraw to rebuild the bridge and reconnect with Auriemma.

“That would be difficult,” McGraw said.

McGraw continued: “I think there was always some mutual respect when we first started and I like to think that is still there on our part.”

A reporter asked if hate was a word that could be described at the feelings between the programs at the moment.

“I think that is a fair assumption,” McGraw said. “I think it is a fierce rivalry.”

Notre Dame defeated Maryland and UConn topped Stanford in Sunday’s Final Four to reach the title game.

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Tom Mix
Tom Mix is the North Dakota high school sports reporter. He's worked at The Forum for five years. He was the 2013 North Dakota sportswriter of the year, an award that is sponsored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to letters@forumcomm.com  
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