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Overton introduced as OBU's ninth women's head basketball coach

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star
New Oklahoma Baptist University women's basketball coach Bo Overton speaks to a gathering at a Monday press conference at the Noble Complex.

Bo Overton is ready to build on the momentum gained at Oklahoma Baptist University by previous and current coaches and acquaintances.

He's also ready to start the building process of the women's basketball program from within the backyard.

Overton was ceremoniously introduced as OBU's ninth women's head basketball coach on Monday at the Noble Complex.

“This place means a lot to me. I'm from this area and I've been very close to many coaches who have coached here – Coach (Doug) Tolin, Coach (Bob) Hoffman and the way Jason (Eaker) has got this men's program going here right now,” said Overton. “Something I have told them is I don't want to let anybody down. This is such a great place and the basketball in this area I know very well.”

Overton comes to OBU after keeping the traditionally-rich Oklahoma City University women's program at a powerful level in the NAIA ranks. In his five seasons at OCU, he guided the Stars to a 145-25 record (an .862 winning percentage).

Included in that was a 2017 NAIA National Championship with a 32-4 record and a 2019 NAIA National Runner-up finish with a 33-5 mark. During that five-year run OCU won four Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season championships and two SAC Tournament titles.

In addition, Overton was named NAIA National Coach of the Year in 2017. That season, the Stars closed the year with a 20-game winning streak.

OCU was 30-2 this past season, with a runner-up finish in the SAC Tournament, and had again qualified for the NAIA National Tournament before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the event. The Stars were set to face Evangel (Missouri) Wednesday night in the first round.

Overton has coached at all levels including the Chinese National Team, WNBA, University of Oklahoma, Louisiana Tech University, Oral Roberts University, Texas State and Murray State College.

Being all too familiar with the Oklahoma basketball scene, Overton believes the recruitment of athletes begins in the Bison's backyard.

“We have great coaches, very great high school coaches in Oklahoma and there's no reason that the Oklahoma kids in this state can't come here. This is a great place for them to go,” Overton said. “The way this school means to this area and this state, I'm really looking forward to leading this team and I'm looking forward to getting to work.”

Overton grew up in Ada where he attended high school and was named the 1979 Oklahoma Coaches Association, The Oklahoman and Tulsa World High School Player of the Year for the Cougars. He was also selected as the Jim Thorpe Award winner presented to the top athlete in each sport at the Oklahoma state high school championships and earned McDonald's All-American honors.

He went on to play collegiately at the University of Oklahoma for coaches Dave Bliss and Billy Tubbs from 1979-83 and set school records at that time for minutes, assists and free-throw percentage.

Overton later served as an assistant coach under Sherri Coale with the OU women's program.

“I was very lucky to be in that position. How many people have the opportunity to work with a Hall of Fame coach?” said Overton. “I talk to her at least once a week. I've gotten a lot of information from her.”

Overton also raves about his men's coaching counterpart at OBU in Eaker.

“The thing I have noticed is the passion he has and how it carries over to the team,” Overton said. “Hopefully, what we can do is take that excitement where we can generate larger crowds like that of the men's games.”

Robert Davenport, director of OBU Athletics, says Overton brings excellence and the ability to advance the program.

“The hiring of Bo Overton will transform our women's program and move us forward in the Division II era and continue the tradition of excellence that's not only within the athletic department but with what the university strives to uphold daily,” said Davenport.

OBU President Dr. Heath Thomas is excited about what Overton brings to the table.

“We are thrilled to have Bo Overton as the women's basketball coach,” Thomas said. “When I was talking with Coach Overton I was so excited. OBU is going to get to experience his leadership, his experience, his deep faith and his passion to take our women's program to the next level.”