Mens Basketball – Francis named coach year

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma men’s basketball coach Chris Francis was selected as the NAIA Men’s Coach-of-the-Year for the state of Oklahoma by the Oklahoma Sports Network.

The OSN is considered the state’s top website in covering small college and high schools in Oklahoma. This is the third year in a row that the OSN has picked all-conference teams for NCAA Division II and NAIA schools in the state.

Francis, who is in his second year at USAO, has led the Drovers to a 19-13 record. USAO won the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament for the first time in school history when they defeated Oklahoma City University 93-90 on the Stars’ home court Saturday.

The win qualified USAO for it seventh trip to the NAIA National Basketball Tournament and its first since the 2013 season. The tournament will begin Wednesday, March 15 in Kansas City’s historic Municipal Auditorium downtown.

Francis spent two years as an assistant at USAO before becoming the Drovers’ head coach in 2015. He previously worked as an assistant at LSU-Shreveport and his alma matter, Rogers State University.

A native of Vinita, Francis was one of the first signees to the Rogers State basketball program. He ended his career with 800 points and became the all-time career record holder for games played (123), steals (139) and minutes played (2,498) upon graduation.

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