by Ed Beach, Drury Athletics
Former Drury Panthers guard Lonnie Boga will return to his alma mater as an assistant men’s basketball coach. Drury head coach Steve Hesser announced Boga as the latest addition to his staff as the St. Louis native will take the place of Brandon Kimbrough, who left the program to take the head coaching position at Central High School in Springfield.
Boga has spent the last four seasons at Highland Community College in Illinois where he was a men’s basketball assistant coach for two years before taking over as the head coach of the women’s program and was named the Region IV Coach of the Year in both of his seasons at the helm. In 2017-18, he led Highland to a 20-10 record, an Arrowhead Conference championship, and a Region IV title. Last season, the Cougars went 14-6 with a 12-4 mark in the region and won their second straight regional championship. In his two seasons as head coach, Boga posted a record of 34-16 (.680). As a men’s basketball assistant, he helped Highland to a combined record of 48-19 (.716) from 2015-17 and an NJCCA national tournament appearance in 2017.
Boga played on Drury’s 2013 NCAA-II National Championship team and was part of back-to-back Midwest Regional championship squads in his two years with the Panthers. He played in 58 games and started every game of the 2013-14 season and posted a career scoring average of 5.8 points with a .491 career shooting percentage from the field. In the 2013 national championship game against Metro State, Boga had five points, connected on a three-pointer, and added three assists with three rebounds in 14 minutes in Drury’s 74-73 win.
“We’re looking forward to having Lonnie back at Drury,” said Hesser. “He played in two Elite Eight’s for us in addition to our national championship team. He’s had success as a coach; he has experience in recruiting and experience as a head coach. He’ll be a valuable addition for us.”
Before coming to Drury, Boga played two seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee appearing in 59 games making 14 starts as an underclassman. He was a double-figures scorer 11 times in two years at UWM and was part of their Horizon League championship team in 2011. Boga also served as Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s representative on the Horizon League’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Boga was an All-State selection at McClure High School and averaged 17.9 points in his senior season. He finished his high school career at McClure as the program’s all-time leading scorer in addition to earning a place on his school honor roll.
Boga graduated from Drury in 2014 with a degree in Exercise Sport Science.
He will join the coaching staff for a Panthers team that finished the 2018-19 season 21-12, 13-5 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, and advanced to the NCAA-II tournament for the second year in a row. Drury returns five lettermen from last year’s squad including All-Midwest Region and First Team All-GLVC selection Conley Garrison.