UT Tyler athletics announced on Tuesday, April 3, that Louis Wilson has been hired to be the fourth head basketball coach in the program’s history.
Wilson previously worked as assistant coach at Grand Canyon University, and even coached former NBA player Dan Majerle.
Wilson is replacing Jamon Copeland, who resigned his post in February after six seasons as the head basketball coach, and the university has finally ended it’s search for a replacement.
“I am excited to welcome Louis and his family to our UT Tyler community and look forward to him leading the Patriot Men’s Basketball Program into the NCAA Division II,” said Athletics Director Howard Patterson.
Starting with the 2001-2002 season, Patterson has built 17 NCAA programs. He helped guide the Patriots to seven NCAA Division III national championships, 67 conference titles and 97 All-American selections.
“Well, I think anytime you lose a coach that’s been around five to six years, there’s definitely a whole lot to consider,” Patterson said.
Copeland, who came to UT Tyler prior to the 2013-2014 season, had a record of 72-82 during his run as head coach. He led the team to three playoff appearances and an overall record of 144-138.
Wilson is following with a record of pushing universities to excellence. At GCU, Wilson coached the team for a season of 20-14, and missed reaching the NCAA Divison I Tournament by one game. Previous to GCU, Wilson coached for three seasons at Utah State University where he taught two of top-10 career 3-point shooters in the university’s history.
Wilson has also taken three teams to NCAA Division II tournament.
UT Tyler is transitioning to NCAA Division II and the Lone Star Conference.
“I’m pretty excited about changing conferences,” said Patterson. “The Lone Star Conference, while great, is tough and is very spread out. In fact, one of our trips is 900 miles one way.”
During the process of finding a new head coach, the department wanted to find a good all-around leader: one who can build outstanding relationships with players on and off the court.
“I wouldn’t want my son or daughter going to a school in which the coach didn’t build any type of relationship,” Patterson noted.
The department found this trait in Wilson. Wilson believes his “greatest strength as a coach” is that he is “relationship guy.”
“Everything about my life and my story is about the relationships I’ve been able to build and the way I’ve been able to reach people to coach them,” Wilson said in an interview at GCU.
Wilson will be introduced at a news conference at 2 p.m., April 10, in the UC Theatre.