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When Texas-Pan American athletic director Chris King announced his decision to not renew the contract of head coach Ryan Marks in mid-March he stated that his expectations for the future played a role in the decision. With UTPA moving from the Great West Conference to the WAC this summer, the Broncs will have an opportunity to compete for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
With that in mind King has hired an experienced coach to take over the program, as the school announced on Friday morning that Alabama associate head coach Dan Hipsher will be the new head coach.
Hipsher, who was Anthony Grant’s right-hand man for the last four seasons, has 15 years of experience as a head coach at the collegiate level in addition to his many years as an assistant.
“Coach Hipsher’s high standards and core values are exactly what we were looking for in the search for our next head men’s basketball coach,” King said in a statement released by the school. “He is a nationally known and well-respected veteran coach who will increase our footprint in the State of Texas and has the experience we were seeking as we transition our men’s basketball program to the Western Athletic Conference next season.
“Not only were we impressed with his plan to prepare our student-athletes for excellence in life, but he also has a strong track record of mentoring assistant coaches who went on to become head coaches, including Alabama’s Anthony Grant, VCU’s Shaka Smart, Lamar’s Pat Knight and Akron’s Keith Dambrot.”
As a head coach (Wittenberg College, Stetson and Akron) Hipsher has a record of 238-182, winning three league Coach of the Year awards. UTPA finished the 2012-13 season 16-16 overall, and one of Hipsher’s first responsibilities (in regards to the roster) is finding a replacement for leading scorer Brandon Provost (15.0 ppg).
“Pan American men’s basketball has a rich history that includes some great success, and I know we can return the Broncs to national prominence on the court,” Hipsher said in the statement. “We’re also going to be active members of the community and strong in the classroom.
“The UTPA Athletics Department is clearly on the rise, and I look forward to being a part of that.”
Photo credit: University of Alabama