MILWAUKEE, Wis. --- Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) Commissioner Dr. G. Steven Larson has announced the hiring of Ken Koester as the conference's new Coordinator of Officials for men's basketball.
Koester becomes just the second Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officials for the NACC, assuming the position left vacant by the retirement of long-time coordinator Dick Bestor. Bestor had served the NACC since its founding in 2006 and, prior to that, was the coordinator of men's basketball officials for the Lake Michigan Conference - one of the NACC's predecessor conferences.
"We are excited to bring Ken on board with the NACC," said Larson. "He brings a wealth of experience - both on and off the court - to the position and we are excited to see where he can take our men's officiating program. We also appreciate and recognize Dick Bestor's service to the league. Ken will have big shoes to fill."
Koester has worked as an on-court official at both the prep and collegiate levels for the last 25 years, officiating in 14 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) state tournaments as well as numerous NACC, Midwest Conference and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament and championship games. He was also selected to work the 2010 NCAA Division III Men's Final Four. In addition, Koester serves as a football replay official for the Big Ten Conference, Mid-American Conference and the Missouri Valley Football Conference and was a member of crews selected to work the 2016 MAC Championship, the 2017 New Mexico Bowl and the 2018 Liberty Bowl.
"The job of an official has never been more challenging and scrutinized," said Koester. "I've spent a significant portion of my career advocating for officials. Because of that, I'm incredibly excited to work with the NACC officials, administrators and coaches to further enhance, support and develop the officiating product."
Off the court, Koester is one of the founders and lead instructor of the Wisconsin Basketball Officials Association (WBOA). He is the Chief Business Development Officer for the Racine-based National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) where he is involved in all facets of the NASO Summit program and assists on all basketball officiating related training materials for the 30,000-member association. Koester also edits basketball copy for magazines, books, newsletters and special projects for Referee Magazine and has worked on all Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) basketball publications in addition to customized mechanics books.
A resident of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Koester is a 1994 graduate of the University of Dayton, where he earned a bachelor's degree in sports management with minors in journalism and event management.