Kyan Brown and Wade Mason, assistant men’s basketball coaches, announced via social media they would not return to ORU for the 2016-2017 season.
Brown has accepted a position with Summit League rival North Dakota State in Fargo, North Dakota and Mason will be an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas.
“Sometimes in the coaching business you’ve got to move just to stay relevant,” said Brown. “I wasn’t looking for this job. But when I got called and got offered [the position], I thought about it, talked to my family about it, prayed about it and it just seemed like the right decision to make at this time in my life.”
Brown is excited for the opportunity to work under friend of 10 years and NDSU Head Coach David Richman at what he considers the premier state school in North Dakota.
The NDSU Bison finished the season 20-13 overall and was the runner-up in the Summit League Tournament.
Brown served on the Golden Eagle team for eight seasons; he was the recruiting coordinator from 2008-2012 before being promoted to assistant coach in the fall of 2012. He is a 2001 alumnus of the ORU men’s basketball program and helped lead the Golden Eagles to its first Mid-Continent Conference title in 1999.
“My time at ORU was a dream come true,” he said. “I got to play there, leave and come back and coach for the Golden Eagles. It was an honor and a privilege. That place will always have a special place in my heart.”
Mason will look to make an impact with the S.F. Austin Lumberjacks under his former Tyler Junior College coach Kyle Keller.
The school, what he called a mid-major powerhouse, has a 53-1 conference record in the past three years and is coming off of a trip to the second round of the NCAA Div. I Men’s Basketball Tournament this past March.
“I just want to be a part of what they already have established. They’re helping me more than I’m helping them,” said Mason. “I want to teach and demonstrate and help these kids from the standpoint that they may not know what I know, but I also want to learn as well.”
He is a 2001 Tulane graduate, and was an assistant coach at ORU for four seasons. His primary responsibilities were scouting, game preparation and on-court instruction with the guards. His participation with the Golden Eagles brought eight all-conference selections, including Shawn Glover in 2014.
“I love [ORU],” he said. “It’s a special place and I have a lifetime of memories.”
The athletics department has not announced any decisions regarding the replacement of the two coaches. Head Coach Scott Sutton was unavailable for comment.
Story by Jadyn Watson-Fisher, Photo by Nikolai Stophel