Doug Schakel

Assistant Coach
8th season

It’s not every day that a team can add a hall-of-famer to its staff, but that’s exactly what JCCC head coach Ben Conrad did when he asked Doug Schakel to join his staff prior to the 2009-10 season. A long-time veteran collegiate and high school coach and member of the Mesa State College Hall of Fame and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, Schakel has helped JCCC produce three of the best campaigns in team history since joining the program.

In his seven seasons with the Johnson County women’s program, the Lady Cavaliers have posted seven consecutive 30-win seasons, helping JCCC become just the only school in Kansas Jayhawk Conference and NJCAA history reach that milestone. The team set a record for wins with 30 in 2009-10, and broke that mark the next season with 32 victories and again in 2014-15 with 34 wins. Last year’s team completed an unblemished 30-0 record during the regular season. They went on to finish 31-1 and ranked third in the final national poll.

In addition to the record win totals Schakel has helped coach one of the nation’s top defensive teams each season. The Lady Cavaliers held its opponents to an average of 49.5 in 2009-10, establishing a new team record and breaking the old mark by nearly three points per game. In 2010-11, the Lady Cavaliers ranked at the nation’s best defense, allowing just 45.0 point per game, shattering the previous record by four points per game. In 2011-12, JCCC again set a team defensive record while leading the nation with a 44.3 per game average, and in 2013-14 for a fourth time shattered the record with a 41.5 points per game average. In 2014-15, JCCC held teams to just 47.9 points per game, and last year their defensive average was 47.5.

He has also coached 23 all-conference performers, including two Jayhawk East Freshman of the Year and two Jayhawk East MVPs. Additionally he has mentored 12 NJCAA All-Americans, nine WBCA All-American, five NJCAA All-Tournament selections, one tournament MVP and 28 NJCAA All-Region VI picks.

“Doug and I got to know each other my first year here, and after spending time with him, I became convinced we needed him on board,” said head coach Ben Conrad. “He has been huge for us. He is a tremendous teacher of the game. Doug’s experience has been a major asset to our program. His worth ethic, integrity and professionalism are second to none. I am privileged to have him on my staff.”

Doug Schakel, a 1964 graduate of Central Iowa College, reached the pinnacle of collegiate track & field, capturing the Iowa intercollegiate pole vault championship while attending Central Iowa in 1963 and 1964. However, all along, it was Schakel's goal to achieve greatness atop the collegiate coaching ranks in the sport of basketball. And, in his 30 years as a head basketball coach (33 in all), he did just that, accomplishing a very impressive 503-285 record (.638 winning pct.). Schakel was inducted into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2004.

During his 18 seasons at the helm of Mesa State College (1978-1996), he was on the winning end of 304 games (304-195), which was good for a .609 winning percentage. The road to win number 500 started at Solon Community High School (Iowa) during the 1964-1965 season. A year later, he transferred his coaching prowess to Crowley County High School (Colo.), in which he led the boys' basketball team to three consecutive state playoff appearances, including the 1967-1968 Colorado state title and an undefeated season (24-0), when senior guard Bill Jones hit a 15-footer with two seconds remaining to lift the Chargers (45-43) to the ultimate prize.

During a two-year stint (1969-1971) at Storm Lake High School (Iowa), he reached the 100-win level in 1971, compiling a 43-3 mark at Storm Lake. In 1970, SLHS's only loss was in the state final game to Davenport Central as the Tornadoes ended up with a 24-1 record. He then spent three years (1971-1974) at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, Neb., where he enjoyed the best three years in the school's history. In three seasons, his squads totaled 67 wins and 32 losses with the most successful season coming in 1973-1974 when the Knights went 27-9 and lost to Casper Junior College (Wyo.) for the right to play in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament. In 1974-1975, he returned to the high school ranks to coach Wasson High School (Colo.), and 1975-1977, he guided North Platte High School (Neb.) to West Big 10 conference championships in consecutive seasons.

Schakel's desire to coach at the collegiate level propelled him to the assistant coaching position at the University of Utah, where he spent one season (1977-1978) at the NCAA Division I level. According to the Associated Press, the Utes finished as the No. 10 team in the nation, losing to Bill Laimbeer's and Bill Hanzlik's Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen at Phog Allen Arena in Lawrence, Kan. Then in the early winter of 1978, he hit the 200-win mark as he began his long-lasting career with the Mesa State Mavericks. Number 300 was an 86-56 win over New Mexico Highlands on Feb. 11, 1985. And during the 1990-1991 season, Schakel reached the 400-win milestone for his career as well as the 200-victory mark at Mesa State. On Jan. 26, 1996, Schakel reached the 500 win plateau at New Mexico Highlands with a 70-61 victory.

More to Schakel's credit, under his guidance, the Mavs won six RMAC Men's Basketball Championships during his 18-year reign at MSC. One of Schakel's most memorable teams was the 1985 squad that participated in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national tournament in Kansas City, Mo. That season, Schakel's team started 1-3, but rolled off 18 consecutive wins, including a NAIA District VII victory over Grand Canyon (Ariz.) in the district final to qualify for the national tournament.

Schakel, who was also an assistant manager of the United States Olympic team in 1968, pioneered the coaching exchange program between the United States and eastern Africa in August of 1984. Schakel served as a NAIA ambassador to eastern Africa where he conducted basketball clinics and seminars for coaches and players in Tanzania and Zambia.

He also developed the Mesa State College basketball camps in 1978, which became the second largest in the nation with 3,700 campers each summer. All told, Schakel posted the best mark in MSC history and the fourth-best record in Colorado collegiate basketball history. Schakel also served as the Mavericks director of athletics for two years (1979-1981) and then again was asked to be the head of the MSC athletic department from 1998-2001.

Ironically, Schakel could not keep his hands out of the basketball circle as he served as the Mavs' women's basketball assistant coach in charge of offense during MSC's 2001-2002 conference championship season (17-2 RMAC). That year, MSC became the first-ever RMAC women's basketball team to host the NCAA Division II North Central Regional. MSC ended the season 26-4. In January 2010, Schakel earned induction into the Mesa State University Athletics Hall of Fame.

He and his wife of 50 years, Dr. Sharon Schakel, have a son Matt and a daughter Kristin. Matt and his family reside in Colorado Springs where he is a special education teacher. His daughter and her family live in Overland Park. She serves as a recruiting coordinator for Black and Veatch.