Sam Alford came to SMS in the spring of 1995 to go to work for his son, Head Coach Steve Alford. The senior Alford brought 30 years of coaching experience to the job, having worked as a high school coach in basketball-crazy Indiana. In his 20-year coaching career at New Castle (Ind.) Chrysler High School, Alford racked up a 300-188 record. A three-time North Central Conference Coach of the Year, Alford had previously passed up opportunities to coach on the college level, staying in the high school arena in order to coach his sons.
Hosea Lee joined the SMS basketball program in 1995, shortly after Steve Alford joined the Bears coaching staff. In his first season with the Bears, Lee supervised team travel and the game and practice video program. Lee was promoted to a full-time post when former assistant Kenny Cox left SMS in 1996 to enter the private sector. Lee is now one of the Bears' primary recruiters, as well as fulfilling administrative and practice and game coaching duties.
Steve Lynch is in his third year as an assistant to the Bears basketball program, coming to SMS in June 1996. Lynch has practice and game coaching duties, as well as a number of other administrative duties, including monitoring academic progress of team members. Lynch came to SMS after spending four years assisting Steve Alford's basketball program at Manchester College.
Karen Rapier is in her fifth year assisting the Lady Bears, but her history with the team goes much deeper. A standout Lady Bears player who graduated in 1993, Rapier was a member of the university's 1991-92 Final Four team and was the first player to sign with the team when Cheryl Burnett took over as head coach in 1987-88. Rapier's duties with the team include recruiting, oversight of all computer-related matters and coaching the post players.
Lynnette Robinson is in her 12th season with the Lady Bears. As recruiting coordinator, Robinson has logged countless miles in bringing the Lady Bears program the talented players it needs to compete at the national level. A 1982 graduate of the University of Illinois, Robinson shines as a floor coach, drawing on 10 seasons as an assistant and a stellar playing career. She has been with the program since Cheryl Burnett joined the university in the 1987-88 season.
Chuck Williams is the newest addition to the Lady Bears coaching staff, joining SMS as an interim assistant coach in November 1997. His day-to-day duties include involvement with the team's conditioning program, assisting with the team's practice planning and game day preparation activities. Williams also coordinates preseason individual workouts. An SMS basketball standout from 1967 to 1971, Williams ranks fifth on the Bears' all-time scoring chart with 1,687 points.
Adrianna Norris became a first-time business owner with the opening of Finley River Chiropractic; PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub launched its newest location; and Huey Magoo’s opened its second store in the Ozarks.