Entering his 12th season with the Northwestern State men’s hoop squad, Jeff Moore is a cornerstone of the program.
Coach Mike McConathy entrusts his staff with responsibilities that many Division I coaches don’t delegate. But with two former junior college head coaches on the bench in Moore and Bill Lewit, the Demons are blessed with high-caliber help.
Moore’s in-game strategy and stewardship of all aspects of the program have weaved seamlessly with McConathy’s players-first, family values approach.
As such, NSU has won 59 games in the last three seasons, while leading the nation in scoring in 2014-15 and ranking second nationally the previous two seasons. Moore’s savvy and his passion have been precious assets for Demon basketball.
He has been the point man as recruiting coordinator as NSU has signed two Southland Conference Freshmen of the Year, Jalan West (2013) and Zeek Woodley (2014), and the 2013 Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, DeQuan Hicks. Moore helped steer the 2012-13 Demons to a 14-seed in the NCAA tournament after another Southland Tournament championship.
The 23 games the Demons won in 2012-13 sits in second place for the school’s all-time history for wins in a season.
Moore’s amazing work ethic and winning personality made him the perfect choice to fill the big shoes on the Demons’ staff when he replaced current McNeese State head coach Dave Simmons in 2006.
He fits into a legacy of assistant coaches that McConathy has nurtured, three now Division I head coaches -- Buzz Williams at Virginia Tech after a great run at Marquette, along with beloved Southland rivals Simmons at McNeese and Mark Slessinger at New Orleans.
Remarkably, after the departure of Simmons, the Demons didn’t miss a beat. Moore’s strategic acumen and teaching skills were tremendous assets as NSU won yet another Southland Conference title in his first season on staff, capturing the SLC East Division crown. In his first two seasons, the Demons made back-to-back trips to the Southland Finals.
Moore’s motto: “preparation comes face-to-face with opportunity.”
“‘It’ in leadership terms is the guy that makes it all work and pulls it all together. He knows all the necessary things to do for our program. Jeff Moore has ‘it’,” said McConathy who became Louisiana’s all-time leader in college wins in 2013.
“His compassion for players and passion for doing the right things are impeccable. I truly have been blessed to have him on my staff.”
Before coming to NSU, he spent five years (1997-2002) as a head coach and athletic director in the junior college ranks at John Wood (Ill.) Community College. There he made a run to the NJCAA regional tournament semifinals in 2001 and coached Ronnie Ross, a Jeanerette, La., product who was ranked as a Top 10 junior college prospect at guard by TSN Basketball Magazine.
Ross was the first of three Top 10 junior college prospects by position that Moore coached. Kurt Looby and Jessan Gray played for Moore at Tyler Junior College when he was an assistant from 2002-05. In his three seasons at Tyler, they qualified for the regional tournament every season.
After TJC, he coached at Bossier Parish Community College as an assistant for one season before Coach Mike called his number. At BPCC, the Cavaliers won the Miss-Lou Conference and Tournament Championship and qualified for the Region XXII Tournament for the first time in five years.
Moore not only has a commitment to excellence on the floor, but in the classroom. Ninety percent of Demon basketball players have graduated since Moore arrived, and NSU’s APR has continued to climb including 1000 marks in 2010, 2011 and 2013. In 2014, the program received NCAA national recognition for ranking in the top 10 percent in Division I, and again led all conference and state public institutions in the NCAA Graduation Success Rate with a 98 percent score.
He’s recruited big-time players such as Koby Achane from Welsh, La., Missouri Valley College’s all-time leading scorer; Will Mosley from Shreveport, who is fifth all-time in NCAA Division I history in blocks; and Trey Gilder of Dallas, who played with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and was a NBA D-League All-Star.
“He is a great teacher of the game, a tremendous worker, and has an extremely positive, warm personality,” said McConathy. “He’s rooted in Louisiana, which is the heartbeat of our program, and he also has contacts around basketball that broaden our network.”
Moore has coached over 80 players in his career from his home state of Louisiana.
“He grew up with a dad who was a great basketball coach and the game is definitely a passion for him,” said McConathy. “From being a head junior college coach for five seasons, he understands what we have to do to not only keep our program achieving at a high level, but to move forward.”
Moore’s father, the late Wilbert C. “Nooky” Moore, coached for 33 seasons in Louisiana at the high school (Slidell, Rayne, Notre Dame-Crowley, Lake Arthur) and college (assistant coach to Ralph Ward at McNeese State) levels.
The younger Moore began his college-coaching career in 1995 at his alma mater, Missouri Valley College, after serving as a student assistant coach in 1994-95 following the end of his playing career. He was named an NAIA Scholar All-American at Missouri Valley after earning National Junior College Athletic Association All-Academic honors at Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College, where he was also an honorable mention all-region performer.
He earned a master’s degree in education, with an emphasis in athletic administration, from Northwestern State in 1997.
Moore was a standout player at Lake Arthur High School and was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame. He played on the Louisiana Stars AAU state championship team and was chosen for the Louisiana Pepsi All-Stars Team that toured the Canary Islands.
He continues to host summer camps in Jefferson Davis Parish starting in 1998 and also hosted senior workout camps in April in south Louisiana, providing an opportunity for hundreds of state prep players to obtain college scholarships at the junior college, NAIA and NCAA levels. His relationships with prep coaches have helped raise attendance at summer NSU camps and clinics to all-time highs.
He and his wife Amy, a fourth and fifth grade math teacher at the NSU Lab School, have a beautiful and active 8 1/2-year-old daughter, Gracie, and a son, Caige (for Dad’s Cajun heritage), who will turn four in January.
Bill Lewit won a national championship as a junior college head coach and has predictably made tremendous impact on the Northwestern State program as the Demons have re-emerged as a nationally-relevant mid-major over his first four seasons on Mike McConathy’s staff.
In just his second season, Lewit helped the Demons reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. NSU led the nation in scoring during the regular season (83.3 ppg), and finished second in that stat, and sixth (9.8 pg) in steals. The Demons went 23-9, the second-best win total in a century of basketball at NSU, winning the Southland Conference Tournament.
The resulting NCAA Tournament berth was extra special for Lewit when the Demons drew the Florida Gators in a second-round matchup, and then battled nose-for-nose into the middle of the second half before Billy Donovan’s powerhouse squad pulled away. Lewit’s dad and Donovan’s father grew up together in Rockville Center, N.Y., and Billy’s uncle, Don Sullivan, was the best man in Lewit’s parents’ wedding.
The 2014-15 Demons captured the national scoring championship, averaging 84 points per game and extending Northwestern State’s history of high-scoring squads. NSU returned to the postseason after a one-year absence, garnering a berth in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Despite significant graduation departures, the 2013-14 Demons made their own mark. The Demons Hoop Squad blew out Auburn 111-92 on the road and was again among NCAA Top 10 leaders in scoring, steals and blocked shots, and took eventual Southland champ Stephen F. Austin down to the wire twice. NSU has won 59 games in the past three years thanks in no small part to Lewit.
His deeply insightful scouting reports, bench acumen, and player development are vital elements of Demon basketball. His breakdowns of practice and game video results in steady improvement by the NSU players, who frequently make their way up the aisle on the team bus on road trips to sit with Lewit and glean his precise observations on their games.
His impact has been immense as well in social development, academic goal setting, and expanding NSU’s recruitment base. His contributions helped the Demon program earn two NCAA academic plaudits in 2014 – national public recognition in May for ranking among the country’s top 10 percent on the Academic Progress Rate study, and then in October, No. 1 rankings in the Southland Conference and among Louisiana’s public institutions (again) on the NCAA Graduation Success Rate with a near-perfect 98 percent.
Yet in his understated way, Lewit says he is getting the better part of the deal as a Demon basketball family member.
“I am truly blessed to be an assistant coach on Coach McConathy’s staff,” Lewit said. “He is a proven winner who has built a very special basketball program, and most importantly empowers his staff and players to perform on and off the court with the same championship qualities he possesses. I know, just like all the players and coaches before me, I am better because of my experience with him.”
Before coming to NSU, Lewit spent the previous two years at the University of New Orleans, where he was associate head coach while the Privateers were in the Sun Belt Conference.
Like McConathy did at Bossier Parish Community College, Lewit built a perennial junior college national power at Cecil College in Maryland.
Lewit’s 2005-06 team won a national championship, going 33-2. He guided the team to the No. 1 spot in the final regular season polls three times, and two top-7 finishes in each of his final 11 seasons. The 2006 team was the first team in NCJAA history to start as the No. 1 ranked team at the start of the season, end as the No. 1 ranked team in the final regular season poll, and go on to win the national title.
Lewit earned National Coach of the Year in 2006, and he maintained 100 percent eligibility for his players across his 14 years and over 90 percent graduation of his sophomores.
Additionally, Lewit’s Cecil teams won six Maryland Juco regular-season conference championships, five Maryland JUCO State Tournament Championships, six Region Championships, and 354 games. He was selected conference and region Coach of the Year a combined 15 times.
Even before coaching, sports and competition had always been a big driving force for Lewit. He was a football and basketball standout from 1987-91 at Salisbury University (Md.). In his senior season (1990-91), he served as the football team captain, led the team in receptions and receiving yards, held the basketball team’s highest free throw and 3-point shooting percentage, and won the overall Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
To this day, Lewit is still the only athlete at Salisbury to earn four varsity letters in both football and basketball. One of his biggest collegiate highlights was when he recorded 17 points, five rebounds and four assists in the conference championship game to help lead Salisbury to an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Lewit earned a Bachelor’s in Communications in 1991, and Master’s in Education/Counseling in 1993, both from Salisbury.
In high school, Lewit earned a combined nine varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball at Red Bank Regional HS (N.J.). As a senior, he was named to the all-county team in all three sports.
Some of his biggest high school accolades were winning three division titles in basketball, being selected for the Vince Lombardi Rock and Granite award as one of Monmouth County’s elite football players, and being honored as Red Bank Regional’s Most Outstanding Male Athlete in 1987.
Furthermore, Lewit became the youngest Red Bank Regional Alumni to be inducted into the Red Bank Regional Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in April, 2010.
Lewit is an avid New York sports fan and supports the Yankees, Giants, Knicks and Islanders. His connections in sports to this day are outstanding.
His basketball teammate at Salisbury, Russell Springmann, is an assistant coach at the University of San Diego.
One of Lewit’s college football teammates, Dan Quinn, is the head coach of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
Jareem Dowling, one of Lewit’s athletes and former assistants at Cecil, is the head coach at Scotland Performance Institute Prep School in Chambersburg, Pa.
Lewit is the son of Bob and Maureen Lewit. His parents and two brothers, Bob Jr. and Greg, live in New Jersey. His grandmother, Angela Lewit, currently resides in Tampa, Fla.
His family has always been his biggest inspiration in life as they stressed Catholic faith, family, education, athletics, work ethic and serving others.
Jacob Spielbauer, a master of multi-tasking, enters his 11th season as an assistant coach under 19th-year coach Mike McConathy.
Previously NSU’s director of basketball operations, Spielbauer, 33, now assists in recruiting and scouting duties along with skill development, practice planning and overseeing student managers for the Demons. He is the program’s liaison for housing and equipment, and is camp director, a role that keeps him especially busy in the spring and summer. The NSU program hosts a team camp for about 100 high schools each summer, along with several other camps designed for youth ranging from 4 up to high school seniors.
“Spiel” has been key to a pair of national postseason tournament trips by the Demons, the 2013 NCAA Tournament and the 2014 CIT, and has been integral to the success of some of the more remarkable players in school history.
In his first season with the Demons, he helped NSU reach its league-record fourth straight Southland Conference Tournament championship game. In 2010, he was part of a staff that led NSU to a second-place finish in the conference race.
A year later, he aided in the recruitment of Southland Conference 2013 Newcomer of the Year DeQuan Hicks and 2013 SLC Freshman of the Year Jalan West. He helped lead the Demons to a 23-9 finish while winning a Southland Conference Tournament championship and earning a 14th seed in the 2013 NCAA tournament.
He assisted in the recruitment of 2013-14 Southland Freshman of the Year Zeek Woodley, who finished his career last season as NSU’s all-time scoring leader (2,033 points). While the Demons finished with a 17-14 record, they were the fastest team in Division I basketball. NSU ranked second in nation in points per game (86.6), seventh in nation in steals per game (8.7), and eighth in nation in assists per game (16.5).
In the 2014-15 season, NSU led the nation in scoring (84 points per game) as Spielbauer helped mentor West, who led the nation in assists per game at 7.7.
“Jacob has earned each step forward with us,” McConathy said. “He came to us with a great basketball background and he immediately became a very valued member of our program. He has excelled at everything he’s done and has been very good for us in this expanded role, particularly as it relates to recruiting.
“He’s a quality person and has a great future in the profession.”
Spielbauer was an NAIA honorable mention All-American point guard in 2007 and an Academic All-American at William Penn University in 2006 and 2007 along with earning all-conference honors for three seasons. He scored 1,300 points during his four seasons as a Statesman. Spielbauer was team captain in his last three years and helped the Statesmen post back-to-back conference championships before they reached the NAIA Division II national tournament in his senior season. He was inducted into the William Penn Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2016.
Spielbauer, a Wapello, Iowa, native, earned a master’s of sport administration from NSU. He is also a teacher at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts.
At Wapello High, playing for his father Ken, he was a 2003 Iowa All-State pick.
Spielbauer was born Sept. 18, 1984. His father was an All-American basketball player at William Penn and is also a member of the William Penn Athletic Hall of Fame.
His parents, Ken and Karen, have another son, Davis, and a daughter, Emily. His father has been head basketball coach at Wapello for 32 seasons.
Jacob is married to the former Shircarra Dobin, and they have a charming daughter, Maci Jean, who celebrated her third birthday April 22.
Director of Basketball Operations
In the past three years, Trey McCrory has added responsibility after responsibility since joining the Northwestern State men’s basketball staff as a student coach.
After ascending to graduate manager following the completion of his undergraduate studies, McCrory enters his first season as the Demons’ director of basketball operations.
McCrory spent the 2014-15 season as a student assistant on coach Mike McConathy’s staff before graduating in May 2015 with a dual degree in psychology and addiction studies.
McCrory, who is legally blind, graduated with a 3.4 grade point average and currently is pursuing a master’s degree in sport administration.
Because of his remarkable time on McConathy’s staff, McCrory was named a finalist for the United States Basketball Writers Association’s Most Courageous Award in January. McCroy was one of 10 finalists for the award.
McCrory is the son of Johnny and Tammy McCrory of Coushatta and has one sister, Britney Tingle.
Sports Information Director
In charge of athletic media relations at his alma mater since January of 1989, Doug Ireland coordinates publicity efforts for Northwestern’s 14 intercollegiate sports teams through local, regional and national media outlets in print, broadcast, television and the internet.
He also serves in the volunteer role of chairman of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Ireland assumed that post in April 1991.
His 1992 Demon Football Media Guide won "Best in the Nation" in FCS Division from the College Sports Information Directors of America. A 1997 story on Joe Delaney, "The Guy We Called Joe D," won a national second-place award in a COSIDA writing contest. Ireland has won numerous awards as SID from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. He was recently awarded the Distinguished American Award” by the S.M. McNaughton Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Several of his assistant SIDs and graduate assistants have advanced to prominence in media fields. Former NSU sports information staffers under Ireland include Bruce Ludlow, assistant commissioner of the Southland Conference for media relations; Bill Magrath, media relations manager for the Sports Business Daily; Mike Morrison, co-editor of the ESPN Information Please Almanac; Daucy Crizer, assistant AD and business manager at Lamar; Erik Cox, SID at Lamar; Dart Volz, former SID at Southeastern Louisiana; Melissa Reynaud, former assistant SID at LSU; Kenny Lannou, SID at Kansas State; and Troy Mitchell, SID at Henderson State. Dustin Eubanks, NSU's director of NCAA compliance, worked in the NSU SID office as a graduate assistant and for two years as the fulltime assistant. And Adam Jonson, NSU’s ticket manager, was a student and graduate assistant in the SID office. In 1981-82, while an undergraduate at Northwestern, Ireland worked as chief of the Shreveport Times Natchitoches Bureau, coordinating news coverage of an eight-parish region along the Red River. From 1982-85, he was assistant SID at Southwestern Louisiana, working with a men's basketball program that made three straight postseason tournament appearances. He won CoSIDA publications and writing awards while at USL. Ireland was the sports editor of the Natchitoches Times in 1985-86 and attended graduate school at Northeast Louisiana before joining the Alexandria Town Talk sports staff in 1987. In 18 months at the Town Talk, he covered both NSU and LSU sports and won 15 writing awards from the Louisiana Sports Writers' Association.
In 2001, the LSWA presented its prestigious Mac Russo Award to Ireland for his contributions to the organization. In 1999, Ireland was awarded honorary membership in the Graduate N Club at NSU by the university's group of athletic lettermen for his service to Northwestern and its athletic program, and in 2003 he was given full membership. He was appointed by President Dr. Randall Webb to serve a two-year term on the inaugural University Planning Council in 1997-99.
A member of the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity and a student government senator while completing a journalism degree from Northwestern, Ireland was editor of the student newspaper "Current Sauce" as a sophomore before going to work for the Shreveport Times. He was an all-district baseball player and the student body president at Jonesboro-Hodge High School, where he was a wingback for the Tigers' 1977 Class AA state football finalists coached by Don Shows.
Administrative assistant Marcia Bolton is part of the heartbeat of the Demon basketball staff. Her office management keeps operations smooth for coaches, staff and most importantly, for the players, who she considers “her boys.”
She is affectionately known as “Little Ducky” as nicknamed by the iconic Demon, “Coach Black,” Harris Wilson Jr.
A native of Natchitoches, she graduated from Natchitoches Central High School and is a 1988 alumna of Northwestern State.
She worked in the private sector for over 30 years as an office manager/administrator.
She is the daughter of Dr. Dick T. Stalling, who is retired from NSU as department head of the biology department.
Marcia is very active in her church, Trinity Baptist, as a Sunday school teacher, choir member, and greeter.
She also loves to work in the yard and be on the water. She is married to Shelby Bolton, who is an avid NSU basketball fan.