Southern Nazarene has a new face in the athletic department. It is the new assistant coach for the men’s basketball team, Ryan Mahoney. I had the chance to sit down and talk with Mahoney so we could get a better feel for who he is. The first question I asked him regarded why he chose SNU.
“My wife attended SNU from 2001-2005. She played on the women’s basketball team,” said Mahoney. “She always talked about how much she loved attending school and playing basketball at SNU.”
He also went on to explain where they had been the past few years and the other reason behind them coming to Oklahoma.
“We [have] spent the past 2 years in Iola, Kansas. We enjoyed our time in Iola, but we were never able to find a church family,” continued Mahoney. “We wanted to get back into Oklahoma because we knew so many great people that could continue to help us grow spiritually. Finding a place that could help us deepen our faith was the main reason we chose SNU. Secondly, it allowed my wife to stay home with our son. He was 8 months when we made the move to Bethany.”
Another question I asked the new assistant was why he got into coaching.
“I have always wanted to coach since I was 8 years old. I realized that I would not have much of a future as a player, so I started thinking about being a coach,” he said. “I had the dream of becoming the all-time “winningest” head coach at the Division I level. Back then the record was head by Dean Smith at North Carolina University of 879 wins.
Mahoney’s reasons for coaching are a little different now, however.
“My dreams have changed since being 8 years old. The reason I wanted to coach was to help influence young people’s lives in a positive way.”
I also had the chance to sit down and talk to junior guard Deshon Portley about how he felt about the new coaching change and what Mahoney’s best characteristic was.
“His best characteristic to me is that he always has a positive outlook on every situation, no matter if it’s good or bad,” said Portley. “He is always going to speak confidence into his players and our team loves it.”
As for advice for the new coach, Portley said to “just keep being yourself.”
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