By Mark Schnabel

Newton Kansan

From the plains of Illinois to the plains of Kansas, Adam Esses has been named the new women’s basketball coach at Bethel College.

Esses succeeds Mark Fox, who left to become an assistant men’s coach at Tabor College.

Esses coached the last two seasons at Kaskaskia College, a junior college in Centralia, Ill.

Esses was 30-33 in two seasons at Kaskaskia, 17-17 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. Last season, Kaskaskia went 13-18, 8-10 in GRAC play. The Blue Devils lost in the semifinals of the NJCAA Division II, District P playoffs.

In 2014-15, Kaskaskia went 17-15, 9-7 in conference play. Kaskaskia lost in the semifinals of the Region 14 playoff.

Esses coached two all-conference and two all-region players, as well as a two-time All-American.

Before coaching at Kaskaskia, Esses was an assistant at NCAA Division II Upper Iowa University for four seasons, serving as recruiting coordinator. He helped recruit two All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference players, two All-NSIC Defensive Team players and two All-NSIC Freshman Team players, including a Freshman of the Year. His 2013-14 team was ranked first in the nation in all divisions in grade-point-average at 3.801.

He served as a graduate assistant at Nebraska-Kearney, which won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference East Divisiuon and reached the NCAA Division II tournament in 2009.

Esses is a Bethany graduate, where he served as a student assistant and junior varsity coach. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Bethany and a master’s degree from Nebraska-Kearney.

Esses inherits a team that finished 6-18 last season, 4-16 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Bethel lost three starters to graduation.