May 5, 2014
University of Minnesota head women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings today announced the addition of John “Mo” Motherwell to her coaching staff. He will serve as the Golden Gophers’ assistant coach and will be heavily involved in recruiting.
Motherwell has a wealth of experience recruiting in Minnesota and the surrounding regions, having made coaching stops at North Dakota, Milwaukee, Minnesota State-Moorhead, Concordia University St. Paul and the College of St. Scholastica.
“I am extremely excited about the addition of Coach Mo and his family to our program,” Stollings said. “He is a proven recruiter who is well connected in the state of Minnesota, as well as the surrounding region. Coach Mo has a tireless work ethic and an extreme passion for the Gophers. He is a tremendous asset to our Gopher family."
As an assistant at MSU-Moorhead from 2000-05, Motherwell helped the Dragons to a school-record 24 victories, its first conference title in 20 years and an appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament. During his five-year tenure, Motherwell was part of MSU-Moorhead’s remarkable turnaround in which the program posted five-straight winning years after a streak of seven-straight losing seasons. The Dragons produced more All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference performers than any other school in his five years as an assistant.
“I am beyond excited to be joining Coach Marlene at the University of Minnesota,” Motherwell said. “She is regarded as one of the brightest and most innovative minds in the game, and to have the opportunity to coach with her is such an honor. As a long-time Gopher fan, I was thrilled by her hiring and am so happy to work for a school and state that I love so much. Coach Marlene bringing my family home to Minnesota makes me especially motivated to help her bring Big Ten titles and more to the U.”
Motherwell also coached at Concordia University St. Paul and the College of St. Scholastica from 1998-2000. At Concordia, Motherwell was the Golden Bears’ recruiting coordinator and also served as the program’s interim head coach. The recruiting class from his time at Concordia won an NSIC title and twice advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Following his time a MSU-Moorhead, Motherwell spent five years as an assistant coach at Milwaukee, where he worked with post players and served as the team's recruiting coordinator. In 2005-06, Motherwell helped the Panthers to a share of the Horizon League regular-season championship, a program-record 22 wins, the conference tournament championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. While with the Panthers, Motherwell helped secure many of the nation’s top recruits including the 2005 Minnesota AAU Player of the Year, the No. 1 point guard in Michigan in 2007, the 2009 Michigan Class D Player of the Year, as well as the No. 2 ranked post from Illinois and the No. 1 ranked shooter in the nation in 2010.
Motherwell was an assistant coach at North Dakota for one season, where he helped lead UND to an appearance in the Great West Conference Tournament championship game. He also had one-year stints as an assistant coach at Detroit Mercy from 2013-14 and West Florida from 2012-13.
The Michigan native got his start in coaching in the high school ranks in his home state, where he worked for five seasons as both a head coach and assistant coach with Lansing Waverly, Haslett, Williamston, Dryden and Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart High Schools.
Motherwell graduated from Big Ten competitor Michigan in 1995 with a degree in general studies.
Motherwell married Elrosa, Minn., native and St. Scholastica graduate Sherri Bierschbach in 2001 and the couple has two children, Annie and Joe.