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Coaches' Corner

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Steve Alford. At the helm of the 1998-99 Basketball Bears is head coach Steve Alford. Alford came to Southwest Missouri State University three years ago after he turned a winless team into a national championship contender in 39 months at Manchester College in Indiana. In 1997, between Alford's first and second years as Bears coach, the Bruins made an eight-game jump in victories. The team slipped a bit in the face of last year's ambitious schedule, but Alford feels he has the club back on track and headed in the right direction for the 1998-99 season.

Cheryl Burnett. Entering her 12th season as head coach of the Lady Bears, Cheryl Burnett has brought national attention and acclaim to the SMSU women's basketball program. Burnett took charge in 1987-88, and led the Lady Bears to the NCAA Women's Final Four in 1992, just four years later. The SMS team has won league crowns in six of the last eight years, and made NCAA appearances in seven of the last eight seasons. After rebuilding years of 9-17 and 7-20 in her first two years, Burnett has guided the Lady Bears to 210-64 mark over the past nine seasons, including a school-record 31-3 mark in the Final Four season of 1991-92.

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