Daume finds success as Hutchinson coach

Saturday, February 15, 2003

There are few college athletes who have come out of Oak Ridge in recent years, let alone collegiate head coaches.

But Nathan Daume has broken the mold.

Daume, a 1989 Oak Ridge graduate, is in his first season as the head women's basketball coach at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College after spending the four years as head coach of another Kansas junior-college women's program, Fort Scott.

"It's been really excitinge," Daume, 31, said. "I feel fortunate to have had good opportunities already."

A basketball and baseball standout at Oak Ridge, Daume played one season of baseball at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo., before transferring to the University of Missouri.

While at Mizzou, Daume did not compete in sports, but the coaching bug got to him. He volunteered his time working on the AAU and high school levels before getting a break -- the chance to be a student assistant on the staff of Norm Stewart, Mizzou's former legendary coach.

"Basketball was always in my blood, and after I went to Missouri, I got into coaching," Daume said.

After leaving Missouri in 1996, Daume spent two seasons as the assistant men's coach at Fort Scott. He took over the struggling women's program in 1998 and went 63-63 in four seasons, including a 24-9 record last year.

"Fort Scott hadn't had a winning season in about nine years, but in my third year we were able to get over that barrier," Daume said.

Daume's success at Fort Scott led to him landing one of the plum jobs in the tradition-rich Kansas junior-college ranks -- Hutchinson. Daume's squad is 18-6 and in third place in the Jayhawk Conference.

Eventually Daume said he might like to try his hand at coaching a four-year program, but right now he's happy with his situation.

"Being at Hutchinson is a great situation," Daume said. "I'd like to really build this program."

While at Fort Scott, Daume became a good friend of B.J. Smith, who was then coaching junior-college powerhouse Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and is in his first season as Southeast Missouri State University's women's coach.

"The schools were pretty close to each other, and B.J. helped me along the way with some kids he couldn't take," Daume said. "He really helped me get the program jump-started, and we've been good friends ever since. We talk probably at least once a week."

mmishow@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 132

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