Which Sooner Athletic Conference school in Oklahoma had no change in the head coaching position in men’s or women’s basketball heading into 2015-2016?
It’s a trick question. There wasn’t one.
Arthur, the athletic director at SCU, is coming back to fill the empty head coaching position in the women’s basketball program. And the move, which was announced Friday, will mark a first in his long career.
“I’m really excited to get the opportunity to work with these young ladies,” Arthur said in a release. “I’ve never coached ladies before, so I’m sure there will be some adjustments for me. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
He steps in to replace Darrick Matthews, who left after one season in Bethany to take the helm of the women’s team at USAO.
The trend, which is exemplified here, is that many of the names in new coaching positions are not names that are new in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
Both basketball teams at SCU will have new coaches this season. Dave Bliss returns to coaching in the college ranks, replacing Quinn Wooldridge, who went to Oklahoma Baptist to succeed legendary coach Doug Tolin.
There are new names in both head coaching positions at USAO as well.
Chris Francis was elevated to the lead spot of the men’s team after the resignation of Doug Hall. Francis becomes the third head coach since the retirement of another Oklahoma coaching legend, Brisco McPherson, in 2013 to serve as athletic director full time.
A third SAC school in the Sooner State will have new people in the head coaching roles of both men’s and women’s basketball. And neither is new to the SAC.
The Evangels promoted assistant Seth Froese to the head coaching position when Marcus Moeller assumed the role of athletic director for MACU. Moeller was the assistant AD working with yet another Oklahoma legend, Willie Holley, for the last two years.
Holley’s retirement from administration and from coaching the men’s basketball team, a job he had filled for 42 years.
MACU brought in Josh Gamblin, who had been an graduate assistant at OU, but had also served two years as an assistant at SCU.
Oklahoma City replaces only one coach, but she leaves big shoes to fill. Latricia Trammell left OCU in the spring to become an assistant at D-I Georgia State. Trammell led the Star to back-to-back national championships.
OCU brings in Bo Overton to take the helm. Overton has recently been coaching abroad and has also served as an assistant coach at OU.
After one year as an assistant coach with Josiah White at St. Gregory’s, Jenone Bell assumes the head coaching position for the Cavaliers. She comes to SGU with 20 years of experience at all levels of coaching.
And the new head coach trend extends to the newest member of the SAC. Bacone placed a new person in charge of the women’s basketball program, but didn’t have to look far to find him.
Josh Nichols is the new head coach for the Warriors. He has served the previous four years as an assistant for the Bacone men’s team.
Following the Sooner Athletic Conference in basketball this season has the promise of excitement for both women and men. But fans may catch themselves cheering for or yelling at coaches that are a different bench than they are accustomed to.