After being named head coach at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Vinson Metcalf did not take long to determine who his right-hand man would be. He chose former Hillcat Chris Francis to join the Drover family.
“I am very excited to have Chris join me to start this new era of basketball at USAO,” Metcalf said. “His background as a player in this league and his knowledge of the game will be tremendous assets to our program.”
Francis, a native of Cleora, Okla., spent the last year as an assistant coach at LSU Shreveport, a Red River Athletic Conference school with a reputation for high-quality basketball. Last year, the Pilots made an appearance in the semi-finals of the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship in Kansas City, Mo.
Francis said he thought USAO was a perfect fit for him not only because it brought him closer to family and friends but also because of the type of coaches and athletes at the institution.
“It is great to be moving closer to home and to be in the Sooner Athletic Conference. It’s the best conference in the nation,” he said. “Also, with USAO going to the national tournament last year, I think Coach Metcalf and I could take them back there. Plus, working with a national championship coach, I think I could learn a lot at USAO.”
Not only does Francis have experience against members of the SAC, but he also has experience coaching against some of the schools entering the conference this season. Both Southwestern Assemblies of God and Texas Wesleyan play in the RRAC with LSUS.
Both Metcalf and Francis are interested in coaching a “run and gun” style of basketball, which isn’t what the SAC is traditionally known for.