By Meliyah Venerable/Delta Sports Editor
Coach Ben Lister has become the new Women’s Basketball coach at Missouri Valley College. Lister was a coach at Baker University where he developed the program into a championship level team. The program won the conference multiple times, had six straight 20 win seasons, and went to the national tournament 4 straight years. He plans to do the same thing here at Valley.
“My goal is to make Missouri Valley not only relevant in the conference but relevant nationally,” Lister said. “I want to elevate this program to a position where it’s constantly competing to win conference championships, to develop elite players and excellent young people for the future…Having them be able to walk away from here confident that they are going to be successful in the next step of their lives.”
Lister is beginning his 14th year as a college coach, but he has been coaching for a total of 20 plus years. Going through high school and college he knew that we wanted to stay involved in basketball, and coaching was the way for him to do just that.
“I kinda always knew that I wanted to be around the game,” he said. “It was my passion back when I was in high school. I started coaching my junior year of college. I actually played two years of college and then I knew that I wanted to coach. I had an opportunity and made the decision to go ahead and try to start my coaching career. Basically from that point on I coached the rest of my professional career.”
Outside of Lister’s busy schedule as a Collegiate Women’s Basketball coach, he enjoys photography. It’s something that relaxes him. He also loves to spend every second he can with his three children who also are involved in competitive sports. So between them and coaching, he stays busy.
The women’s team has been working very hard this off season to be as successful as possible. Not only on the court, but in the classroom as well. Coach Lister is confident that this season can be a successful season for the Vikings, as long as everyone works hard.
“We’re gonna be competitive at all phases,” he said. “From what we do on the court to off the court. How we approach our classroom responsibilities and coursework. We wanna lead the conference in GPA as well as victories and championships. We got a lot in front of us to do to get there. We’re working really hard, and our girls have been outstanding with the transition. I really feel like things are in place here for us to be successful, we just have to really be driven to get to that next level and sustain success.”