Athletic Director and Men's Basketball Head Coach
Steve Shepherd heads into his 20th year at the helm for the Bobcats. During his 19-year tenure, Shepherd has accumulated a National title, three Fab Four appearances, a conference title, and three conference tournament titles for the College. The Bobcats have enjoyed fifteen 20-win seasons, including a record of 20-13 in 2019-20. Shepherd's 31-year career as a head coach has seen him amass a 392-207 record at the collegiate level and a 259-75 record at the high school level, compiling an overall record of 651-282.
In last season’s COVID shortened campaign, Shepherd led his team to a Runner-Up finish in the A.I.I. Conference Championship, which qualified the Bobcats for a trip to the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championships.
Shepherd has dedicated himself to developing student athletes who represent College of the Ozarks with character and pride. He has coached fourteen NAIA DII All-American players, three of whom have received multiple recognition, and two NCCAA DI All-Americans. In addition, Shepherd has coached eleven NAIA Scholar Athletes and seven NCCAA Scholar Athletes. Most recent on Shepherd’s list of coaching honors is his 2020 induction into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
In 2015, Shepherd added the role of Athletic Director to his resume, managing the day-to-day responsibilities of the College's athletic program. Shepherd received the honor of being named A.I.I. Athletics Director of the Year in 2016-2017.
Shepherd’s coaching career began in his hometown of Savannah, Mo. as the junior high boys’ basketball coach, followed by serving as the head girls' coach at Marionville, Mo., where he accumulated a record of 141-31 and led the team to a 1991 State Championship. Shepherd's next stop was in Aurora, Mo. as head coach of the boys' basketball team. In his three years, Aurora secured two conference championships and an overall record of 65-20. Shepherd next stepped into the role of boys' basketball head coach at Parkview High School, posting a 53-24 record during his three years.
Following twelve successful years as a high school coach, Shepherd began his collegiate coaching career in 1998 at Evangel University. He served as the assistant for four seasons and was on the staff that celebrated Evangel’s 2002 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship.
In 2002, Shepherd was introduced as the fourth head coach in the history of College of the Ozarks' men's basketball. In his fourth year at the helm, the 2006 Bobcats delivered to College of the Ozarks their first-ever NAIA DII Men's Basketball National Championship, defeating Huntington University 74-56 in the title game. He was also named NAIA DII National Coach of the Year.
Shepherd graduated from Savannah High School in 1982. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Northwest Missouri State in 1986 and his master’s degree in middle school education from Evangel University in 2004. Shepherd and his wife Karen have 4 children - Alexis, Sydney, Angelina, Arianna and one granddaughter, Rowan.
Lawrence (Skip) Shear is starting his first year as the assistant coach for the Bobcats. Coach Shear brings over 40 years of coaching experience and a wealth of knowledge to the Bobcat sideline.
Coach Shear was an NAIA All-American while playing at Tarkio College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. After graduation, Shear joined the military where he started his teaching and coaching career as the assistant coach and Physical Education instructor at the West Point United States Military Academy.
After coaching at West Point, Shear continued his coaching career holding assistant positions at Appalachian State University, Indiana University (Grad. Assistant), Drury University, Missouri Western State University, Davidson University, and Northwest Missouri State University. While at Northwest Missouri State University, he helped lead the team to six NCAA regional post season tournaments as well as two Elite Eight appearances. Coach Shear was an assistant with Drury University during their 1979 National Championship season.
Shear amassed a head coaching record of 174-141 while holding positions at Tarkio College, Drury University, and Missouri Western State University. During his tenure at Missouri Western, he led his team to two District 16 Championships and was awarded District Coach of the Year.
Coach Shear holds a bachelor’s degree from Tarkio College and a master’s degree from Appalachian State University. He and his wife Carolyn have two children, Brian and Jennifer.