By Cari Griggs, Senior Staff Writer
The athletic department named Dionne Phelps the new head coach of the men’s basketball team April 5.
Phelps will replace coach Kevin Morrissey.
The announcement was made at a gathering in the Leichter Reunion Room in Henry J. Freede Wellness Center.
Phelps was previously the assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma, said Jim Abbott, director of athletics.
Phelps has over twenty years of experience coaching basketball at the collegiate level.
“We had hundreds of phone calls from interested coaches from around the country,” Abbott said. “We have a terrific tradition of basketball here at OCU.
“We needed a person with great character, a great recruiter and someone who will fit well with our department and community.”
Phelps said he is ready to jump in and take on the challenge of living up to OCU traditions.
“I always want to jump over the bar,” he said. “At OCU, that bar just happens to be 39 national championships high, with six national championships from the men’s basketball team.”
Phelps said, more than winning, he wants to teach the players to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
“I want them to make a positive impact on their entire community,” he said.
Phelps said he will coach in the style he was taught as a player.
“I was taught to always be on the attack,” he said. “Defensively it’s the same.
“I want people to be uncomfortable when they play us.”
Phelps made a guarantee to the community.
“I can guarantee our effort, passion and commitment to each other everynight,” he said.