CHICKASHA – After nearly 15 seasons with the Drovers, coach Vinson Metcalf has taken the reins after being named head coach of the USAO men’s basketball program on Thursday.
“First and foremost, I’d like to give all praises to my lord and savior Jesus Christ,” Metcalf said. “I am so ecstatic to be the head men’s basketball coach at USAO. I know there are responsibilities that come with it, but I am ready.”
“I have to thank President John Feaver, vice president Monica Treviño, vice president Mike Coponiti, vice president Dex Marble and all the people on the committee … to allow me this opportunity to represent the university as the basketball coach,” Metcalf added.
Treviño, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, said Metcalf was a great choice for the university because of his experience both at the institution and in the league.
“We are excited about Coach Metcalf becoming USAO’s sixth head coach. He’s been with USAO for 15 years and brings a great wealth of knowledge and experience in NAIA basketball,” Treviño said. “He understands the mission for the university and is committed to working with us to fulfill it.”
Metcalf said he is more than happy to step into the shoes of long-time head coach Brisco McPherson, under whom he served for nearly a decade and a half. McPherson spent 22 seasons as the head coach.
“My response is that’s going to be very difficult for me because he wears an 11.5, and I wear a 10.5,” he said with a classic Metcalf chuckle. “So I have to make sure my shoes are filled and everything else will fall into place.”
Metcalf credits McPherson for preparing him to step into the high profile position by allowing him authority on the floor and guidance throughout his years at USAO.
“That was vital in giving me the confidence that I am ready for this day,” Metcalf said. “I have been prepared by one of the best basketball coaches in the state of Oklahoma, Coach Brisco McPherson.”
McPherson announced his retirement in March. He will remain on as the USAO Athletic Director, a position he has held since 2002.
With his history with the program, Metcalf doesn’t expect the transition to be challenging.
“Not very much needs to be changed. We’re heading in the right direction,” Metcalf said. “My first order of business is going recruiting. We have six returners, and I’ve got to go fill a team.”
Metcalf describes his style of coaching as fast paced and full of action.
“I’m a little more up-tempo kind of coach. I will be recruiting guys who can run and jump and apply a little more pressure at the perimeter,” he said. “Things are going to change, but I am up for the task.”
Metcalf has been instrumental in USAO’s rise to prominence both in the Sooner Athletic Conference and nationally as he helped the Drovers achieve back-to-back-to-back trips to the national tournament, highlighted by the university’s first-ever national championship in 2002 where the Drovers’ beat out Metcalf’s alma mater, Oklahoma Baptist.
With his help, the Drovers added three more national tournament appearances, including one just last season.
Metcalf’s tenure at USAO began in 1998, but after two years, he moved on for the assistant position at NCAA Division I Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. He returned to USAO in 2001.
Metcalf also was the assistant coach at Hill Junior College in the mid-90s.
He said he fell in love with coaching as a student assistant at Oklahoma Baptist University.
As standout high school player in his native Louisiana, Metcalf graduated from Airline High School, where he was a three-year starter and received All-City, All-Area and All-District honors.
Metcalf began his collegiate playing career at Hill Junior College in Hillboro, Texas, where he was a two-time All-Conference selection.
After his two years at HJC, he briefly attended the University of Idaho before settling USAO’s conference rival, Oklahoma Baptist. At OBU, he earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1990.
Metcalf then entered graduate school at the University of Tulsa, where he trained under coaching legends J.D. Barnett and Tubby Smith. He graduated with his master’s degree in athletic administration in 1991.
With the transition, Metcalf will step down as director of intramurals at USAO. Additionally, his class load will be reduced from 13 hours to six hours.
He lives in Moore with his wife, Katrina. The couple has a daughter, Toccura, and a granddaughter, Talea.