Rich Tortorelli, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
OKLAHOMA CITY – Tim Kisner has taken the reigns of the Oklahoma City University men’s basketball program as head coach.
Kisner arrives at Oklahoma City after two seasons as an assistant at Sooner Athletic Conference member John Brown (Ark.), which has earned NAIA Division I Championship Tournament berths the past two seasons. Kisner owns previous experience as a college head coach and professional playing experience.
Oklahoma City has made 25 trips to the NAIA Division I Championship Tournament with a 49-18 all-time record in NAIA Tournament play and six national championships.
“We are excited to welcome Tim Kisner to the Oklahoma City University family,” Oklahoma City athletic director Jim Abbott said. “Tim checks all of the boxes for us in terms of his success as a player and a coach, his commitment to excellence academically and athletically and his passion for providing student-athletes with a great experience. He inherits the most successful NAIA men’s basketball program in history, and I have no doubt that he will add to OCU’s legacy of success.”
With Kisner’s contributions, John Brown went 51-16 (.762 winning percentage) with a school record-tying 28 wins this past season, two second-place finishes in the SAC and two appearances in the SAC Tournament title game. He mentored four all-Americans, five all-conference choices and the SAC defensive player of the year (Densier Carnes).
“I would first like to thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving our family this wonderful opportunity,” Kisner said. “I would like to thank Jim Abbott, Kelly Perry and Greg Kersgieter for the opportunity to become the head coach at Oklahoma City University. I enjoyed getting to know them through the interview process and am very excited for their vision for OCU basketball. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead this program.
“My family and I are thrilled to accept this position at OCU and are ready to hit the ground running competing in such a great league as the Sooner Athletic Conference. We are looking forward to developing relationships with the players and setting forth the vision for OCU basketball.”
Kisner made his way to Siloam Springs, Ark., after spending six of the previous seven seasons as an assistant coach at NCAA II Lake Superior State (Mich.). In charge of advanced scouting for the Lakers, Kisner helped Lake Superior achieve the most successful two-year stretch in program history with consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and NCAA II National Tournament bids. During those two seasons (2013-15), LSSU posted a combined record of 53-13 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in both seasons.
In his previous stint at Lake Superior State since rejoining the program in 2016, Kisner helped the Lakers to a 41-18 record over the last two seasons, including an appearance in the GLIAC tournament championship before falling to eventual NCAA II national champions Ferris State (Mich.) in the NCAA tournament regional semifinals.
Kisner spent one year as head coach at NCAA Division II Fresno Pacific (Calif.). In 2015-16, Kisner led the Sunbirds to a 14-13 record, marking a five-win improvement from the previous season.
A four-year starter at point guard for NCAA Division I Central Michigan from 1997-2001, Kisner captained the Chippewas to the 2001 Mid-America Conference championship, ending the program’s 15-year title drought. While at CMU, Kisner graduated with numerous accolades, including becoming the first player in program history to reach both the 1,000-point and 400-assist milestones and ranks among the program’s all-time leaders in points, assists, 3-pointers and steals.
Following his collegiate career, Kisner was selected in the 2001-02 NBA D-League draft and spent two seasons in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), earning player of the year honors for the Grand Rapids Hoops in 2003. He went on to play professionally in Europe, in both Finland and Poland, and was part of national championship teams in both European leagues. He played in more than 350 professional games in seven countries before retiring as player in 2008.