STEVENS POINT, Wis. - UW-Stevens Point and basketball fans from around central Wisconsin will be excited to know that Stevens Point native Jakob Gollon is coming home after a successful playing stint at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. Head men's basketball coach Bob Semling recently introduced Gollon as the newest assistant coach to his staff.
"We are extremely fortunate to have Jake on our staff this year," said Semling. "He will impact our program in many significant areas. His NCAA Division I background and the level of success he enjoyed will pay huge dividends for Jake as a coach and for us as a team."
Most people might remember Gollon capturing the hearts of college basketball fans around the world when he led the Mercer Bears to an upset victory over the Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA tournament this past spring. Of Mercer's three successful post-season bids with Gollon as a captain (CIT champions - 2011-12, NIT second round - 2012-13, NCAA Tournament round of 32 - 2013-14), this past season is the one that earned Mercer the ESPY award for Best Upset.
The videos of the Mercer Bears' dancing circle went viral just minutes after the game against Duke, and since then Mercer has become a household name in the sporting world, in large part thanks to a career-high 20-point performance from Gollon.
Gollon graduated from Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) in 2008. Due to injuries and the surgeries that ensued, he received two medical-hardships at Mercer and was able to stay for six years to finish his career.
With a bachelor's degree in communications studies and a master's degree in higher educational leadership, Gollon is primed to begin his coaching career where he first grew fond of basketball as a prep player.
"I grew up watching and learning from the UWSP basketball programs while I was in high school," said Gollon. "I'm thrilled to come back home and be able to work in the environment that I once idolized."
Like Mercer the past few seasons, UWSP is no stranger to winning and that's something Gollon is excited about.
"UWSP has always been a championship program and I think there's a lot I can learn from Coach Semling and the rest of the staff here while we compete for another conference and national championship," said Gollon.
The Pointers open the 2014-15 season Nov. 15 at home against St. John's
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