Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

March 30, 2014

Cope named RSU women's basketball coach

CLAREMORE — Rogers State University Director of Athletics Ryan Erwin announced the hiring of Bobby Cope as the new head women’s basketball coach Friday afternoon.

“I am extremely excited to name Bobby Cope as the Head Coach of the Hillcat women’s basketball team,” Erwin said.  “Coach Cope has been a loyal assistant coach at RSU for the past five seasons and brings a great deal of knowledge, experience, and passion to the program.  I am confident he will be able to lead the Hillcat basketball team to continued success, as we become full members of NCAA Division II and the Heartland Conference.

Cope, who has served as the assistant women’s basketball coach at RSU for the past five seasons, becomes the third head coach in the program’s eight-year history. He replaces Roxanne Long who stepped down to pursue endeavors outside athletics and complete a Ph.D.

"I would like to thank Mr. Erwin and Dr. Rice for having the confidence in me to lead this already tradition-rich program. For me, it truly is a great day to be a Hillcat," said Cope. "I am honored and extremely excited to be given the opportunity to be the next head coach of the Hillcats."

In his five seasons as a member of the Hillcat coaching staff, RSU has compiled a 99-60 record for a 62 percent winning clip. RSU reached the NAIA National Tournament three out of his four seasons on the Hill as NAIA members, including a 2011-12 Quarterfinal run.

“Over the past five seasons, I have been fortunate to be a part of a great program at Rogers State, and be a member of the wonderful community of Claremore,” Cope said.

“I look forward to the challenges that will come with this position as we continue to establish ourselves in NCAA Division II and the Heartland Conference, and continue to get our name out across the state and region. I want more people to know what a great thing we have going here at Rogers State University.”  

Since his arrival, Cope has coached six Sooner Athletic Conference all-conference selections at the post position and one in the inaugural season in the Heartland Conference. Cope has also coached two NAIA All-American post players and a NAIA All-Tournament Second Team player in his time at RSU.

In his first three seasons on the Hill as a member of Amy Williams’ staff, the Hillcats made their first appearance in the NAIA Top 25 in 2009-10 while reaching the 20-win plateau for the first time. Over the next two years RSU tallied a 45-22 record including back-to-back NAIA National Tournament appearances.

Cope was retained on Roxanne Long’s staff in 2012-13 and helped RSU return to the NAIA National Tournament for the third consecutive year. The Hillcats boasted its best Sooner Athletic Conference winning percentage in program history with a 12-4 record.

Cope had seven years of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate level prior to RSU. He spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. Cope also worked as an assistant at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D., from 2003 to 2005 and coached both football and basketball at Colstrip High School in Colstrip, Mont., from 2005 to 2007.

As the top assistant for the women’s basketball program, Cope developed and oversaw the Hillcats’ strength and conditioning workouts and worked primarily with the post players in skill development. He served as recruiting and scouting coordinator and handled non-conference scheduling.

 Cope earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Black Hills State and a Masters of Health and Physical Education from Northern State.

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