MOUNTAIN GROVE, MO - Former Missouri State mens basketball coach Mark Bernsen is returning to the Ozarks. The 62-year-old Bernsen agreed to take over the Mountain Grove boys basketball team, replacing Wayne Jessen, who left to accept an administration position at Mountain View/Birch Tree-Liberty.
Bernsen, who currently lives in St. Louis, led the Bears to a 48-37 record from 1992-95. He came to Springfield 20 years ago because of his good friend Charlie Spoonhour, who passed away earlier this year.
"I met hundreds of great people, including my wife," said Bernsen. "I thought the world of those people."
Following his time in Springfield Bernsen went on to coach at New Mexico State, Idaho, Southeast Missouri State, Moberly Community College, and most recently professionally in Switzerland and Ireland.
Bernsen became aware of the opening by Mountain Grove assistant principal Duane Hiler, who Bernsen developed a friendship with during his time in Springfield. When asked why Mountain Grove? Bersen responded, "have you been to Mountain Grove? that's why."
Bernsen's wife's family lives in Springfield. His family lives in St. Louis, so it was a logical landing point.
When asked what is the one main thing you will impress upon your team, Bernsen said, "mistakes get you beat."