Former NMU basketball coach, current golf coach Dean Ellis retiring in January

MARQUETTE – After 20 years at the helm, Northern Michigan University golf coach Dean Ellis of Negaunee has announced his retirement.

It will become effective Jan. 3, NMU Athletic Director Forrest Karr announced Thursday.

“I would like to thank Northern Michigan University for allowing me the privilege to coach for over 33 years in Marquette,” Ellis said through an NMU press release. “It has allowed me the opportunity to work and raise my family in my hometown of Negaunee.”

Ellis has worked at Northern since 1983, when he was hired as an assistant basketball coach under Glenn Brown.

This past fall, Ellis led the NMU golf team to an eighth-place finish out of 14 teams at the GLIAC Golf Championships and a 14th-place finish out of 33 teams at the NCAA Regionals.

“Dean is an excellent teacher and great to work with,” Karr said. “He’ll be missed.

“Fortunately, he’s planning to help us find another quality coach with similar passion for helping young men improve.”

Ellis is better known as the Wildcats’ longtime basketball coach. He took over that post starting with the 1986-87 season and posted a 369-303 career record, becoming the winningest coach in program history in January of 2005.

He stepped down as head coach on April 10, 2009, after 24 years seasons.

Under Ellis’ leadership, the basketball Wildcats made 13 appearances in the GLIAC tournament and won the 1999-2000 title.

His 1993, 1999 and 2000 squads won GLIAC regular-season titles and also qualified for the NCAA Division II tournament. Ellis had four 20-win seasons (1993, 1994, 1999, 2000) and was named the 1993 GLIAC Coach of the Year.

Ellis played collegiately at Southwest Missouri State University, earning three letters in basketball and four in golf. He transferred to NMU and completed his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1983.

A national search will begin immediately to find Ellis’ replacement.