Justine Gaskamp, Sports Information Director
GOODWELL – Following a nationwide search that drew a strong field of applicants, Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Aggie Athletics are pleased to announce the hire of Aaron Coombs as the next head coach of the men’s basketball program.
University President Dr. Tim Faltyn is excited to have Coach Coombs join the Panhandle State family and foresees many great things on the horizon for Aggie Athletics, “We have added a great member to our team, and I look forward to watching the accomplishments of Coach Coombs and our students unfold.”
Coach Coombs will hold his first head coaching position as he joins the Panhandle State family. A select hiring committee took the task of filling this position very seriously and was honored to have such a strong pool of candidates. Head Football Coach and Associate Athletic Director Russell Gaskamp was proud to be part of the process stating, “We are very excited at the opportunity to add such an incredibly well-rounded coach to our staff. His passion and fire on the court might only be surpassed by his sincere regard and devotion to his players in the locker room, on the court and in life. You can quickly tell that Coach Coombs is a very likeable guy, and someone who genuinely cares about people; he prides himself on being a positive role model and mentor to his team members.” Gaskamp added, “He strongly believes in creating not only good players, but good men and good citizens. I look forward to getting him here on campus to work with the guys we have now, while bringing in a great recruiting class of future Aggies.”
Most recently serving in the NCAA-Division II ranks at Missouri Western State University (April 2013-March 2018), Coombs gained valuable experience preparing him to be a head coach. He was responsible for upholding the academic standards of his team members. Coombs was proud to boast 14 student athletes on Honor Rolls throughout his time at MWSU. He also served as the chief recruiting coordinator at Missouri Western, signing five MIAA All-Conference players during his tenure. In the course of his four seasons spent with the Griffons, Coombs acted as the Lead Assistant Coach for men’s basketball before recently acquiring the Interim Head Coach title upon the departure of Brett Weiberg, who spent five season leading the team.
Weiberg offered a comment on Coombs’ hire stating, “OPSU made a very good decision when they hired Aaron [Coombs]. Aaron is one of the absolute best basketball minds that I have been around. He can coach basketball. More importantly, he will recruit quality young men and do everything in his power to help them grow as athletes , students and people.” Weiberg continued, “Panhandle Basketball will be exciting to watch because Coach Coombs’ team will play hard, they will play together and they will be tough.”
There he was charged with leading practice, preparing scouting reports and organizing the strength and conditioning program for the team. His strong work ethic in all aspects of coaching drives him to continually develop both himself and his athletes. Over the course of his coaching career, he has implemented strategies that help motivate student athletes to become stronger skilled players as well as creating opportunities for student athletes to develop and grow off the court.
Fully equipped with the skills and experience required to run a collegiate basketball program, Coach Coombs comes highly regarded by his constituents and players alike. Ryan Hellenthal, Head Coach at Quincy University extended esteem for his colleague, “Panhandle State made an unbelievable hire in the selection of Aaron Coombs as its next head men’s basketball coach. Aaron will bring a tremendous amount of energy and passion to the program, and is one of the best in the business at connecting with student athletes across the country. He will quickly establish a great culture that OPSU and the community of Goodwell will be proud of.”
Former Player, Cole Clearman All-MIAA Honorable Mention speaks on those very qualities, “Coach Coombs is the reason I came to Missouri Western. He has always been very honest and loyal to me, my family, my teammates and the Missouri Western program. I have looked up to him as a great leader and have learned a lot playing for Coach Coombs: he has taught me work ethic, accountability, and how to deal with adversity. His work ethic is inspiring, whether it is watching countless hours of film, recruiting, one-on-one training, or creating summer workouts so I could better myself; it helped me become an even harder worker. He loves his players and is great at getting the most out of them, while also being a person you could go to whenever you needed help. He has broadened my knowledge of the game and has inspired me to pursue a career in coaching. Coach Coombs does things the right way and I am so glad I chose to play for him.”
Prior to his time spent at MWSU, Coombs served as the Lead Assistant Coach at Missouri University of Science and Technology during the 2012-2013 season. Coombs got his start in coaching as an Assistant at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa from 2010-2012. His impressive playing career includes two conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. UNCW knocked off the No. 4-seeded USC Trojans in overtime during the 2002 tournament. He also earned the CAA Most Improved Player award in 2005 and was named an NSCA Strength and Conditioning All-American in 2004. At the professional level, Coombs spent five years competing in France, Romania and China where he reigned as the leading scorer on all three teams and was named MVP while playing in Shanghai.
Panhandle State Athletic Director Meghan Mulcahy looks ahead with great pride and optimism, “I am very excited to have Coach Coombs join our team. I believe that he will be a great fit within our coaching staff, and his enthusiasm and knowledge of the game will make an immediate impact on the men’s basketball program, both on and off the court.”
Coach Aaron Coombs and his wife Signe are excited to join the Panhandle family, along with their daughter Adley Marie. Coombs is eager to get to Goodwell and start working with the team. Overcome with appreciation Coombs expressed, “I would like to thank Meghan Mulcahy and Dr. Tim Faltyn for giving me a chance to lead their basketball program. Becoming a head coach has always been a dream of mine and I look forward to getting the opportunity to help coach these young men at OPSU. My program will showcase passion, character, and a level of competitiveness that will be unmatched. My goal will be to push my players to help them achieve their goals on the court and in the classroom, but more importantly become great adults, husbands, and fathers. I could not be more excited to be an Aggie!”