ALVA, Okla. – Northwestern Oklahoma State’s Director of Athletics, Brad Franz announced the selection of Shawn Dirden as the new leader of the Men’s Basketball program.
“I am very pleased with the hiring of Shawn Dirden and having him and his family joining Northwestern Oklahoma State University,” Franz said. “Coach Dirden’s philosophies regarding academics, personal student growth and development of individual and team basketball are exactly what we were looking for and fall right in line with Northwestern Athletics.
“I know he will provide the leadership and guidance for our team as a whole and the players individually. His team will play very hard, will be well coached and will be ready to work towards the goal of being one of the top teams in the Great American Conference. He has worked for some excellent coaches and programs and knows what it takes to build a winner. I have every confidence in his abilities to build our program in all aspects.”
Dirden joins the Ranger family after a two-year stint at the University of North Dakota where he was an assistant for the Fighting Hawks.
“I’m truly honored to be the next head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State. I want to thank President Dr. Janet Cunningham and Athletic Director Brad Franz for this opportunity,” Dirden said.
“Shawn’s player and coach experiences will be invaluable to Ranger Men’s Basketball! He is an impressive individual and I know our program will be in good hands,” Dr. Cunningham said.
As part of the UND coaching staff, Dirden was responsible for player development of guards and post players as well as a recruiter of both the high school and junior college levels.
During his first season at North Dakota, the team finished the season at 8-22 with a 4-14 record in the Big Sky conference, but with his assistance, they made a large jump forward this past season, finishing above .500 in both overall record at 17-16 and in league play at 10-8.
Prior to assisting at UND, Dirden was a member of the Montana State from both 2006-2008 and 2014-2016 where he was tasked with being the Recruiting Coordinator. He was also in charge of player development of both guards and post players as well as scouting and development of game plans.
Dirden was also a member of the University of South Dakota coaching staff during the 2005-2006 season, following a three-year stint at Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, Colo. where he was the head coach for the Varsity, sophomore and freshmen teams.
Before becoming head coach at Cherokee Trail, Dirden tested the college ranks of coaching at Indian Hills Community College as an assistant for one year before taking his second head coaching position.
His first head coaching opportunity came at George Washington high school in Denver, Colo. where he spent three seasons.
Prior to his coaching career, Dirden played professional basketball, which included both overseas play in Venezuela, Lebanon, China, Sweden, Korea and Holland. Dirden also participated in the Phoenix Suns’ rookie and veterans camp in 1997 before playing for the Idaho Stampede in the Continental Basketball Association. He also spent time with the Columbus Cagerz of the United States Basketball League.
His father was also a professional athlete as he played in the NFL for three seasons.
What led him to his professional playing days were his years at both the University of Idaho where he attained his bachelor’s in Secondary Education: History and Political Science in 2002 and at Otero Junior College where he played for his mentor, Franz for two seasons.
“Brad Franz has been a mentor of mine for over 25 years and to be chosen to lead his men’s basketball program is an opportunity I could not pass up. He put this program into a great position to succeed and I’m confident we’ll continue on that path. My family and I are excited to get started in Alva and become a part of the community,” Dirden said.
Dirden and his wife, Sierra, have a son, Damian (10) and a daughter Taylor (6).