Upper Iowa names Maass as new WBB Head Coach

Justin Maass has been named as Upper Iowa University’s new head women’s basketball coach. Maass spent the last four years with the Morehead State University women’s basketball program including three years as an assistant with the NCAA Division I Eagles in Morehead, Kentucky. He is the 15th head coach in the Peacocks 47-year history in the sport.

“I am thrilled to announce Justin Maass as the next leader for our Peacock women’s basketball program,” said Upper Iowa Vice President for Athletics Rick Hartzell. “The program began taking steps toward consistent success over the last three years and I believe that Coach Maass will continue that progress forward through his philosophy and vision for the program. The candidate pool was filled with former head coaches, but it became clear that Justin is the right coach at the right time for our program. Maass and his staff will not only focus on the x’s and o’s, but on each of our student-athletes individual development on and off the court.”

Over the last four years, Maass worked with the Eagles women’s basketball program as they battled in the Ohio Valley Conference. After serving the 2018-19 season as a graduate assistant, he was promoted to assistant coach prior to the 2019-20 season. He helped the Eagles to a second-place finish in the OVC, as well as 24 wins and a berth and victory in the postseason WNIT in 2018-19.

“I am humbled and honored to be the next head women’s basketball coach at Upper Iowa,” said Maass. “Leading a college basketball program has been my dream for as long as I can remember. Upper Iowa is a program full of potential, and I cannot wait to get on the court with our student-athletes. I believe Rick Hartzell and I share a similar vision for the program. The NSIC is a tough and competitive league. As I first watched games from the past NSIC season, it became clear that there are no nights off once conference play begins. The league is filled with great coaches and talented players. It will take a lot of hard work, but I am confident that we will find success in the NSIC with support from our administration and community.”

Prior to his time at Morehead State, Maass was the varsity assistant coach at Valley Vista High School in Surprise, Ariz. Maass helped lead Valley Vista to back-to-back 6A state titles in 2016-17 and 2017-18. While at Valley Vista, Maass helped nine of his players play at the college level, five of which went to Division I schools. Maass also coached three years of club basketball, coaching for one of the top programs in the state of Arizona. 

“Peacock women’s basketball will be known for its fun and exciting brand of basketball,” continued Maass. “We will play a fast-paced style centered around player and ball movement. We have a lot of talent returning to the roster and will focus on developing well-rounded athletes that can make plays. I have already had the opportunity to speak with our student-athletes. I shared with them my vision for the program, and they expressed real excitement for the future of our program. Our athletes will be driven by a personal growth mindset both on and off the court. Our staff’s first priority will be investing in our student-athletes and our culture. Our student-athletes are ready to build our culture and take the next steps as a program in the NSIC.”

Maass graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in history and from Morehead State with a Master’s degree in sports management. While in Arizona, he taught high school economics for three years.

“I am beyond thankful to Vice President Hartzell and the search committee for believing in me to lead the program,” concluded Maass. “I also want to thank all the student-athletes and coaches I have worked with. Without them and all their work, none of this would be possible. Most importantly, I want to thank my wife. Her support and sacrifices over the years have made this possible. I am looking forward to working with the Upper Iowa community as well. The people at the school have welcomed me with open arms, and I cannot wait to make Upper Iowa my home.”


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