NKU community reacts to Bezold’s release

As news of Bezold’s departure spread around campus and the community, students, fans and former players expressed sadness and shock that the NKU coach of 25 years was suddenly fired.

SGA President and former basketball emcee John Jose is grateful for Bezold’s services during his time at NKU.

“The students have so much respect for Coach Bezold and we’d like to thank him for his services and thank him for building the NKU basketball program to what it is now,” Jose said. “It’s a hard change, but it’s a sad change on the students’ mind but we thank him for everything he’s done and for building up Norse Nation.”

Former Norse Force President Clay Tyler shared similar sentiments and was shocked at the news.

“I’m sure that the University and Athletics has a plan in mind and are only working towards what is best for the success of the program,” Tyler said. “I’m definitely sad to see him go because I’ve enjoyed watching him as a coach and his genuineness to attempt to get the university involved in athletics and make a difference here.”

Another former Norse Force President, Sara Daugherty, couldn’t believe the news.

“I was really shocked when I heard about it,” Sara said. “Dave has done a lot for the program. Given that we had our first tournament berth and were the four seed shows a lot of potential. Coach Bezold was not even given the chance to see his team that he has brought this far play in the big dance [NCAA tournament].”

Former NKU basketball player Ernest “Stretch” Watson was shocked that his former coach was released.

“It brings a sense of sadness to my heart that Coach Bezold will be leaving the program,” Watson said. “I have been keeping up with the team through coaches, my former teammates, and fans. I found out the news from a fan of NKU and immediately felt the loss. Coach Bez has been with the university for 11 years and has shown great leadership, pride and integrity.”

Watson said Bezold touched the lives of many of his players and encouraged them to become not only better players, but even better students and men.

“It’s because of him I had a successful basketball career and finished with a BA Degree,” Watson said. “I know without question it won’t be long before he joins another program and makes an impact on his players’ lives as he did with mine.”

Paul Daugherty, father of NKU team manager Jillian Daugherty and Cincinnati Enquirer sports columnist, thanked Bezold for his service at NKU, but more importantly, for presenting his daughter Jillian, who has down syndrome, with an opportunity to work for the team.

“Well it’s a very sad day, obviously for Dave, but for the entire NKU basketball community,” Paul said. “He was a very good basketball coach but far, far beyond that, he’s a terrific human being. You’re not going to find a better guy than Dave Bezold.

Paul said it’s Bezold’s wins in Division II that, for the most part, got NKU into Division I in the first place.

“He personified what a basketball coach at that level should be,” Paul said. “He won; his victories are a big part of why they even went Division I and his ability to finish .500 in the conference in only his third year of Division I is a testament to the coach he is and the kind of players he’s bringing in there, even though they were hamstrung, obviously, by the NCAA rules. So, it’s a sad day for basketball but it’s also a sad day for people in general over there [at NKU]. I thought Dave was a superb human being.”