Players Reflect on Karleskint’s Leadership


Photo by Photo Submitted by UCM Athletics

Former University of Central Missouri coach Doug Karleskint resigns after nine seasons with the Mules basketball team. He has impacted many players in their time on and off the court.

After nine seasons, Doug Karleskint will not be returning as the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Central Missouri next season.
Sophomore Ben Fritz believes the positive leader and person Karleskint was for his players is what will be missed most by himself and his teammate, while they move on to the next chapter of their collegiate careers. Fritz says he is sad to see Karleskint leave the program, but thankful he will always be available to be his mentor.
“He (Karleskint) told us that he will always be here for us and that he will still be around. It speaks to the kind of coach he is.”

Karleskint resigned after nine years at UCM on Feb. 25. Karleskint had an overall record of 135-119 and holds the record for most wins as a first-year head coach in program history, with 25 wins. Karleskint went on to lead the Mules to three seasons with 20 or more wins. Karleskint resigned
after Mules Basketball ended their season at Northeastern State on Feb. 25.
Many players say they can only complement the culture that Karleskint took over and grew during his time in Warrensburg.
“We were all very surprised [of Karleskint’s resignation],” said Sophomore Guard and University of Missouri-Kansas City transfer, Jack Chapman. “He was a big reason I chose to transfer to UCM and seeing him leave has been difficult for all of us.”

Though UCM is turning a new page in their basketball program. With only two seniors on the 2022-23 roster, the team is one of the youngest in the MIAA Conference. Many believe losing a coach that spent nearly a decade developing his program is hard for any team, but returning players are set on making a statement for the future.
Freshman Guard, Connor Arment, said, “Though we are all sad to see Coach Karleskint leave, I am still excited for this team and what we have ahead.”