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Sports

April 5, 2013

USAO's McPherson to retire from coaching

CHICKASHA — After more than two decades at the helm of the Drover basketball team, Coach Brisco McPherson announced Friday that he is retiring from coaching.

“I have loved my time at USAO, but after 22 years, it’s time to let someone else — someone with new energy and enthusiasm — take over the Drovers,” McPherson said. “I want to thank the university for allowing me to be a part of Drover Nation for all these years.”

McPherson, also USAO’s athletic director since 2002, will stay on as AD on a part-time basis.

“As a graduate of this institution, I wish continued success for the university and its next head men’s basketball coach,” McPherson said. “Be assured as athletic director, I will do whatever I can to ensure a smooth transition for my replacement.”

Even though McPherson’s resignation will not be effective until the end of his contract in June of this year, the university will begin a national search for a head coach later this month.

“Brisco McPherson led the Drovers to national headlines and he took the university along for that glorious ride,” said USAO President John Feaver. “His achievements are a terrific reflection of his own diligence as a coach and mentor. His love for this university is great and the mark he sets for his successor is high.”

Finishing up his 22nd season as head coach this year, McPherson collected 309 wins in his tenure. He earned his 300th in a January upset over No. 9 Rogers State. At the beginning of last season, he was the 22nd Winningest Active Coach in the NAIA.

As head coach, McPherson took the Drovers to six NAIA National Championship tournament appearances, including back-to-back trips to the final game in the early 2000s. In 2002, the Drovers claimed the school’s only NAIA National Title.

He has won four conference Coach of the Year awards and holds school records for the best regular season (29-3) and most wins in a season (29), both set in the 2000-01 season. With him as coach, the Drovers have claimed four conference titles.

McPherson has been involved with the university nearly the entire 40 years of its athletic programs. Playing on the first men’s basketball team at the college, then the Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts, McPherson still ranks among the school’s all-time leaders in scoring, shooting percentage and rebounds.

In November of 2012, McPherson was inducted into the USAO Athletic Hall of Fame, and that same day, the USAO Fieldhouse floor was dedicated to him and renamed Brisco McPherson Court.

“It has been a joy to work with the greatest administration, faculty and staff of the best university in the world for the past 22 years,” McPherson said. “I could not have asked for a better place to work or better people to work with.”

McPherson graduated from USAO in 1976 with bachelor’s degrees in sociology and psychology. He received his master’s degree in physical education from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1984.

Over the years, McPherson also coached men’s tennis for a short time. For 11 years before taking over as head coach, he was an assistant of the men’s basketball program at USAO. Only three of the last 40 years did McPherson spend away from the institution.

“I owe this university a great deal for what it has done for me over the past 37 years,” McPherson said. “I hate to think about how my life would be had I not been given all the opportunities this university afforded me.”

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