Chris Popp is in his second season as head basketball coach at Missouri State University-West Plains. Popp comes to Missouri State-West Plains with 15 years of coaching experience, nine at the NCAA Division II level. He has been on staff with three collegiate programs, all of which were nationally ranked during his tenure. He has recruited, coached and developed 34 all-conference performers, two All-Americans, three Freshman of the Year selections and 13 student athletes who went on to play professionally.
For five years, 2011-2016, he served as the first assistant coach with the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS) Lions, which competes in NCAA Division II's Heartland Conference. During his time at UAFS, the Lions won back-to-back conference championships, were ranked as high as No. 16 nationally and earned two at-large bids to the NCAA Division II tournament. This past season, the Lions went 23-9, were ranked 24th and returned to the national tournament as the No. 6 seed in the South Central Region. As the Lions' first assistant coach, Popp was recruiting, academic and scheduling coordinator and coached post players.
Prior to his position at UAFS, Popp was an assistant coach at Newman University, another Heartland Conference team, in Wichita, Kansas. His responsibilities included recruiting, scouting report preparation, academic supervision, off-season physical and skill development and on-court coaching, specifically post players. He helped the program transition to NCAA Division II competition and guided it to a second place conference finish in its first official season at that level. He also guided the team to a No. 21 national ranking while serving as the team's interim head coach at the start of the 2005-06 season. He recruited and developed 14 all-conference players, including five post players, and aided in the success of three NAIA National Scholar-Athletes and 11 All-Heartland Conference Scholar-Athletes. He also served as Newman's game management director from 2006-2010 and its sports information director from 2005-2007.
Popp spent the 2004-05 season as first assistant coach at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas. During his tenure, the Bluejays were the No. 1 team in the nation in defensive shooting percentage, No. 3 in defensive scoring and were ranked as high as No. 14 in the nation by the NAIA. The Blue Jays also won the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) Championship and reached the Sweet 16 of the NAIA National Championship Tournament in Branson.
He started his coaching career at Derby High School in Derby, Kansas, where he was assistant coach of the boys' varsity basketball team and head coach of the boys' junior varsity basketball team from 2001-2004. In those three years, Derby never finished lower than third in the Ark Valley League.
Popp graduated from Wichita Northwest High School in Wichita, Kansas and was a member of the 1994 6A State Runner-up Northwest Grizzlies. He went on to play at Tabor, where, as a starter, he helped lead the Bluejays to a national ranking multiple years, win the KCAC Conference Championship, and reach the Sweet 16 of the NAIA National Tournament.
He and his wife, Dianne, a former Olympic basketball player for New Zealand and a standout at Wichita State University, have two children, son Vaughan and daughter Autumn.
Moses, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, began his new duties Monday. He comes to the Grizzlies following four years as a graduate assistant and assistant coach at the University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK).
"Ken has proven himself as a worker in this business," Popp said. "He has been involved in highly successful programs, learning from coaches who I respect and who do things the right way. Ken is accomplished, organized and motivated. I am excited to get him here and plugged into what we are building."
Moses also is excited to join the Grizzly program. "I'm familiar with the college and its history, the tradition it has and the way it has developed players for the next level. I'm extremely happy to be affiliated with a program of this caliber. I look forward to helping these young adults get a good education and become great basketball players," he said.
During his tenure at UNK, Moses helped the Lopers win 53 games and reach the Mid-America Athletic Conference (MIAA) tournament in Kansas City three times. He also was instrumental in helping the team post back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in 10 years and make its 12th appearance in the NCAA Division II tournament.
While at UNK, he coached one NJCAA Division II All-American, three first team All-MIAA selections, one second team All-MIAA selection, one third team All-MIAA selection, 1 All-MIAA defensive team selection, and three honorable mention All-MIAA selections.
Prior to joining the Lopers, Moses spent three years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Colorado State University in Pueblo, a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. He helped the ThunderWolves win 39 games and place fourth in the league standings during the 2012-13 season.
As a guard for the ThunderWolves, he appeared in 80 games and started 15, and helped the team earn 17 wins during the 2009-10 season. He was a four-year letter winner at CSU-Pueblo and served as a team captain during the 2009-10 season.
"I want to thank Coach Popp for everything he's done to give me this opportunity, and I want to thank UNK Athletics, especially Kevin Lofton, who's been a great mentor to me and helped me mature and grow as a coach," Moses said.