Ronnie Ressel was named the head women's basketball coach on March 16, 2017 after serving three years as an assistant and one year as an interim head coach. He will be entering his third season as a head coach of the women's program.
Ressel is entering his 17th season as part of the athletic department at Missouri Southern, serving as an assistant with both the men's and women's programs. A 1992 graduate of Missouri Southern, he returned to his alma mater for the 2002-03 campaign after spending ten years at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill. In two years as a head coach for the women, Ressel has a record of 23-34.
In year two, a pair of juniors earned All-MIAA honors as Desirea Buerge was a second-team pick and Chelsey Henry earned Honoable Mention honors. Southern saw an eight-game stretch without a loss in the middle of the season in which the Lions reeled off six wins in conference play, as well as a pair of non-conference wins over the holiday break. The team would also take out perennial MIAA power Emporia State at home as part of a stretch winning nine of ten games.
In year one at the helm, Ressel helped the team to a 12-17 mark and a trip to the MIAA Tournament. The Lions saw both Desirea Buerge and Deb Holcomb earn All-MIAA status and nine different Lions earned a spot on the MIAA Academic Honor Roll.
During his three years as an assistant for the women, Ressel had helped the team to a 57-27 record and a 38-22 mark in the MIAA. In 2015-16 the team saw two players earn All-MIAA status as Sharese Jones was a first-team selection, while Deb Holcomb was a third-team pick.
Jones also joined the 1,000 point club on Nov. 24, 2015 in a game against Avila and finished her career in fourth place in points with 1,421. She is fifth in career rebounds (651) while achieving the second-best career free throw percentage (.824) and holding a career field goal percentage of .501.
For the four seasons prior to his time with the women, Ressel mentored the posts at Southern including 2012 MIAA Player of the Year, Keane Thomann.
He was elevated to the position of men's Associate Head Coach in 2010-11, and was instrumental with his help in development of the guards and overall program at Southern. Former Lion Skyler Bowlin was the MIAA's Player and Defender of the Year in 2011, and was a four-time member of the MIAA's All-Defensive team. He is the Lions' all-time leader in three-pointers and ranks fourth all-time in scoring and second in free-throw percentage. He was selected to three different All-American teams, while being named All-Region and the Region Player of the Year. He was also a finalist for National Player of the Year.
In 11 years with the Lions, Ressel helped the team to a 204-145 record, including 11-straight appearances in the MIAA Postseason Tournament. The Lions played in the conference tournament title game in 2005 and again in 2011.
At Rend Lake College, Ressel produced a record of 118-92 and was named Great Rivers Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1996. A year later, Ressel led Rend Lake to a GRAC co-championship.
Also during his stint at Rend Lake, he served as assistant softball coach and coordinator of the Rend Lake Fitness Center. Since 1997, he had served as Region 24 Women's Basketball Division I Committee Chairman.
Prior to taking over Rend Lake's women's program, he served as assistant men's basketball coach from 1992-95 after serving one season as a student assistant for Lions head coach Robert Corn in 1991-92.
Ressel enjoyed his share of success throughout his playing and coaching careers. A two-year letterman at Missouri Southern, he averaged 6.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. He led the Lions in assists in both the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons and was awarded the Don Gross Leadership Award following his senior campaign.
He and his wife, Pamela, have a son, Kristopher, who has autism and is non-verbal and has competed in three triathlons.