Pioneers pick UWO assistant

More news about: UW-Oshkosh | UW-Platteville
Kelly McNiff was a member of the 2019 WIAC Coaching Staff of the Year at UW-Oshkosh.
Photo by Steve Frommell,

UW-Platteville looked to kick start the rebuild of its women's basketball program by hiring Kelly McNiff who won WIAC titles as a player and coach at UW-Oshkosh.

Platteville's interim Director of Athletics Mike Emendorfer announced the hire via release.

"We are excited to have Kelly join our team and lead the Pioneers' women's basketball program," Emendorfer said in the release. "She knows the WIAC and comes from a program that is synonymous with success and developing talent."

McNiff spent the last six seasons as the lead assistant to Brad Fischer at UW-Oshkosh during a span when the Titans reached the Division III NCAA Tournament five times. The Titans have posted 20-win seasons each of the last seven seasons and reached the round of 16 in 2014, 2017 and 2019 NCAA Tournaments.

McNiff thanked Fischer, the Oshkosh players and the UW-Oshkosh community in Platteville's announcement.

"I also owe thanks to Coach Brad Fischer, all my former players, and the entire UW Oshkosh community. My experience as an assistant coach under Coach Fischer has made me a stronger, better prepared, and more confident coach. Without all of them, this opportunity would not be possible."

McNiff also enjoyed success as a player at Oshkosh. The Titans went 98-15 with two conference titles and four trips to the NCAA Tournament during her playing career. McNiff started 52 games and led the team in assists as a senior.

After graduating from Oshkosh in 2000 and 2004, McNiff was a successful high school coach at De Pere (Wis.) High School where she went 96-11 over three seasons and won the Division 1 state title in 2012. She was previously the head coach at Green Bay Southwestern High School.

McNiff replaces Megan Wilson who transitioned into a full-time Associate Athletic Director position at Platteville in June. Among the reasons cited for Wilson's decision was the need for more flexibility so she can care for her daughter Palmer who was diagnosed with stage three Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a form of soft tissue cancer.

"This was a bittersweet decision for me," Wilson said in the June release announcing the move. "I have been fortunate to coach some dedicated students, talented athletes and most importantly, incredible women.  I truly hope that I was able to impact some of their lives even a fraction of the way they have impacted mine."