NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)- Stephen F. Austin head men’s basketball coach Kyle Keller made the first hire for his 2016-17 coaching staff by bringing Wade Mason aboard as one of the ‘Jacks’ new assistant coaches.
Mason, who spent the past four seasons at one-time Southland Conference institution Oral Roberts University as an assistant on head coach Scott Sutton’s staff, played for Keller at Tyler Junior College in the mid-1990s before closing out his collegiate career at Tulane.
“I am so excited to have someone who I have known for a long time in Wade join us,” Keller said. “He’s not only a great coach, but a great father, a tremendous mentor to young men and a great human being. To have him on our staff teaching young men the value of life both on and off the court is so important to me and he will undoubtedly help to continue the rich tradition of SFA men’s basketball.”
At Oral Roberts, the duties belonging to Mason included opponent scouting, pre-game preparation, on-court instruction, recruiting and working with the Golden Eagles’ corps of guards. With Mason on staff, the Golden Eagles played postseason basketball each season – making two appearances each in the Southland Conference and the Summit League Tournaments.
“I am thrilled to be reunited with coach Keller in Nacogdoches at Stephen F. Austin,” Mason said. “He and I have known each other for a long time and he is an excellent teacher of the game and I am thankful for the opportunity he has given me.”
No fewer than eight all-conference honors came the way of various Oral Roberts players through Mason’s four-year tenure. Most recently, senior Obi Emegano took home 2015-16 All-Summit League First Team laurels by way of a senior campaign in which he ranked ninth in the nation in scoring (23.1 points per game) and 13th in total free throws made (198). Two of the three Oral Roberts player that have averaged 20 or more points per game were prepped by Mason.
2012-13 was Mason’s first season as a member of the Golden Eagles’ coaching staff and it was then that his work resulted in Oral Roberts’ run to the third round of the CIT and the team’s first postseason tournament win since 1975. Following their run in the CIT, Mason’s penultimate season with the Summit League institution coincided with a showing in the 2015 CBI where the Golden Eagles edged UC Santa Barbara in the opening round.
Before his time in Tulsa, Mason performed one season of graduate assistant duties for head coach Lon Kruger at the University of Oklahoma.
Hailing from New Orleans, La., Mason was a prep star at St. Augustine High School and helped the squad capture the title of 1995 USA Today National Champion before matriculating to Tyler Junior College for two years of service under Keller. In his lone season with Tulane, he assisted the Green Wave in capturing a Conference USA Divison title as well as a berth in the 1999-00 NIT.
A 2001 graduate of Tulane with a degree in media arts and business studies, Mason is the father of two children – Jaila (15) and Wade III (11) – and is the cousin Robert Pack who played 13 seasons for seven NBA teams and is now an assistant coach for the New Orleans Pelicans.