Alumnus Named Head Boys’ Basketball Coach at Francis Howell North

Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, MO, named Mark Wright ’12 ΚΑ head boys’ basketball coach in May. Wright also serves as head boys’ golf coach at Francis Howell.

In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Wright teaches U.S. History, AP Government, and Psychology.   

Wright says he is thrilled to lead the basketball program, adding enthusiastically, “I’m ready to get to work!”

The St. Louis, MO, native says that choosing to attend Westminster College was easy: His father, Matthew ’71, Uncle Timothy ’73 ΚΑ, and Uncle Daniel ’75 also are alumni. Cousins Gregory ’14 ΚΑ and Philip ’15 ΚΑ soon followed the family tradition.

Relatives aside, Wright says Westminster helped him find his purpose as a unique individual.

“The liberal arts program at Westminster gave me the opportunity to explore various areas of study that introduced me to a number of different career paths,” he says. “This experience helped confirm that teaching was the right path for me.”

Wright began teaching at Francis Howell North in 2012 immediately after receiving degrees in Secondary Education and History from the College.

Westminster caught up with Wright after his classes ended for summer break. Read our conversation below.

Do you enjoy the teaching profession? I love what I’m doing. I enjoy the opportunity to build strong relationships with kids. Both teaching and coaching allow me the chance to have lasting positive impacts on the lives of students. It is an incredibly rewarding profession. 

What other degrees have you earned? I have a master’s degree in School Administration from Lindenwood University. I received the degree in 2014. 

Other than family ties, what made you choose Westminster College? I remember visiting as a high school senior and feeling very welcomed by the students and staff that I came in contact with and being very impressed with the campus and its history. The opportunity to continue playing basketball at the college level, while getting a great education on a small campus, was very appealing to me. 

What is your favorite Westminster memory? It is hard to pick one. On the basketball court, our Senior Night game against Eureka and the buzzer beater by Joe James against MacMurray to send us to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 stand out. Off the court, living in the Quad freshman year, the Greek Life experience with Kappa Alpha, and campus traditions like the Columns Ceremony and graduation are all memorable. 

Based on your experience with the College, would you recommend Westminster to prospective college students? Absolutely. Westminster made me a much more well-rounded person. I was able to play a sport, get a great education, take on leadership positions, and develop lifelong friendships. The small campus offered a community feel with faculty, staff, fellow students, and alumni that cared about my success. 

Favorite Westminster faculty member(s)? There were so many good ones. Butch Lael was an awesome Seminar professor, and Robert Cowles was my education major advisor. Judge Mark Pfeiffer taught a course on legal advocacy, in which he was able to teach many lessons about the courtroom but also many lessons about life. 

Favorite spot on campus? The Columns. 

Favorite quote? “Success is never final and failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Favorite movie/TV show? Movie: Hoosiers, TV: Game of Thrones

What do you do in your free time? I enjoy attending sporting events, traveling, going to concerts, playing golf, and going on bike rides. 

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.