Coach George Wilson enters his sixteenth season as the Head Coach at College of the Ozarks. Under his leadership, the Lady Bobcats have amassed an impressive 417-84 record and have become one the strongest NAIA women’s basketball programs in the country. In his forty-seven years of coaching, he has an overall record of 976-368. While at College of the Ozarks, Coach Wilson has led his teams to thirteen Midland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships and advanced to the NAIA Division II National Tournament fourteen times. The fourteen appearances in the National Tournament by the Lady Bobcats have resulted in eight Elite Eight finishes, with a string of seven out of the last eight years. Included in that span, Coach Wilson led his team to four National Tournament Runner-up finishes. In addition, he has also coached twelve All-Americans, including nine First team All-Americans, four of whom were two-time First Team All-American selections. He has also coached fifteen Academic All-Americans. Currently he is the 7th winningest coach in NAIA Division II with the highest winning percentage.
Before coming to College of the Ozarks, Wilson coached high school boys’ basketball for thirty-one years in the Southwest Missouri area, compiling a 559-284 record. In 1992, he was honored with enshrinement into the Missouri Sports Basketball Hall of Fame for his contribution to the game of basketball in the area. In 1996, the Fiftieth Anniversary of the prestigious Blue and Gold Tournament, Wilson was honored as one of the top five coaches in tournament history. Perhaps most honoring was Wilson’s induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, in 2008. In 2011-12, his team won the NAIA Buffalo Funds annual award and What’s Right in Sports Award for their fundraising efforts for Joplin High School girls basketball. In March at the NAIA National Tournament, Wilson will be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame, a much deserved honor for his success and contribution to the NAIA.
Wilson is highly respected at College of the Ozarks for his commitment to the mission of the college. He strives to recruit student-athletes who meet the standards of the college and can uphold the tradition of the women’s basketball program on and off the court. Wilson leads by example and motivates his players by keeping basketball enjoyable for them as they work hard to maintain the expected level of excellence in the program.
Wilson received his undergraduate degree in Physical Education and History from Drury College (1963) and a graduate degree in Physical Education and Athletic Management from Pittsburg State University (1968). In addition to his coaching duties, he is an Associate Professor of Physical Education in the P.E. Department.
Wilson and his wife, Sue, have three children, Tami, Eric, and Tara, all of whom graduated from College of the Ozarks. Eric and Tara both played basketball for the Bobcats. Coach Wilson and Sue are blessed with eight grandchildren, four boys and four girls, and enjoy spending time with them.
Becky Vest begins her eleventh year as assistant coach for the Lady Bobcats. Coach Vest is a valuable asset to the Lady Bobcats program and has been instrumental in helping the Lady Bobcats become one of the top NAIA programs in the nation as well as the Midlands Conference. During Coach Vest’s time as assistant coach the Lady Bobcats have compiled a 295-49 record. The team has been to the national tourney each year and has been an Elite Eight team seven of the last eight seasons including five trips to the Final Four and four National Tournament Runner-up finishes. Coach Vest is responsible for many things including scouting, film analysis, and helping with practice preparation. She also has played a major part in recruiting for the Lady Bobcats and has been instrumental in bringing quality athletes to the program. She has a passion for motivating student-athletes in all aspects of their lives.
Becky played for Coach Wilson for two years after transferring from John Brown University. She graduated from C of O in 2003 cum laude with a double major in secondary education and physical education. She completed her master’s degree in Physical Education at Missouri State and currently is a full-time Assistant Professor in the C of O Physical Education department. She is a graduate of Stoutland High School.
Paul Voliva enters his fifth season on the Lady Bobcats’ coaching staff after joining the staff in the role of student assistant during his junior year at College of the Ozarks. Paul is a very astute student of the game, continually striving to broaden his knowledge. His responsibilities include practice preparation, carrying out practice plans, as well game preparation and scouting. This summer Paul put together the “Rebound and Rebuild fundraiser for the Joplin high school girls’ basketball team. The event was a success, raising over $10,000 for the squad. As a student at C of O, he received the “Most Outstanding Work Award” in the fall of 2008 for his on-campus work station. Paul graduated in May of 2010 with a degree in Secondary Education/Physical Education. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Physical Education at Missouri State University. Paul is from Ava, MO, where he was a three sport athlete, participating in basketball, football, and golf.