Three Rivers Basketball Coach Wins 1,200th Game

Jan 09, 2015
Coach Bess Gene, Three Rivers Men's Basketball

Coach Bess Gene, Three Rivers Men’s Basketball

Gene Bess, head coach of the Raiders men’s basketball team at Three Rivers College, cemented his place in basketball history by securing his 1,200th win over State Fair Community College on Thursday, January 6 in Sedalia, Missouri.

“I feel overwhelmed but very proud to be part of the team that allowed me to reach this milestone,” said Bess. “It’s an amazing achievement, and one that has been made possible by the extraordinary players, coaches, and supporters I’ve been able to work with here at Three Rivers.”

Bess has coached men’s basketball at Three Rivers for over 40 years, leading the Raiders to two NJCAA national championships in 1979 and 1992. He now holds the record for most wins by a single coach in all of college basketball, has held the record for most wins in junior college basketball since 2006, and is eclipsed by only four coaches in the NBA. He has been inducted into the National Junior College Hall of Fame, and was twice named NJCAA’s Coach of the Year.

“Three Rivers is deeply honored to have been host to Coach Bess’ extraordinary career,” said Dr. Wesley Payne, President of Three Rivers College. “He has left an indelible mark on the careers of hundreds of players, as well as the lives of thousands of students and fans. His dedication to his sport and to this college is nothing short of amazing.”

The Raiders are currently 15-5 this season, with a 1-1 record in their division. Their next home game will be on Tuesday, January 13 at 7 p.m. in the Bess Activity Center. For more information on Raiders basketball, as well as all Three Rivers athletics, visit

Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit