The 2016 season marks Matt O'Brien's eighth season as the Head Coach of the Southwestern College Moundbuilders. During the O’Brien era, the Builders have had six straight winning seasons. SC is coming off a 26-win season, second most in the school’s history, a top 25 ranking, and a national tournament berth. The Builders will need to rebuild after graduating a strong senior class which included two All-Americans.
During the O’Brien era, SC has been heavily-involved in the community. Last season team was awarded the 2015 Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team Award, which the Builders won in 2012 as well. The award is issued to one college team in each sport that exemplifies character and sportsmanship during practice, competition, on campus, and in the community. The men’s basketball team participates in several community service projects throughout the year, including packaging meals, participating in a reading programs with children at a local elementary schools, as well has partner with for Big Brothers & Big Sisters. The Moundbuilder’s commitment to service continues through the season, with the team participating in both the Samaritans Feet movement and the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative during the regular season.
“I am very fortunate to work an administration who truly values character and service to the community,” O'Brien said.
The Builders hav been excellent in the classroom as well, winning three NAIA Scholar Team awards and have had a team GPA over 3.0 five of the seven years during the O’Brien era. This past year the Builders received the National Association of Basketball Coaches 2014-15 Team Academic Excellence Awards, and received team honors from the NAIA for their scholastic efforts.
The past two years O’Brien has taken a leadership position with the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference where he currently serves as chairman of the men’s basketball coaches. O’Brien has also served nationally for the NAIA on the All-American Committee as well the NAIA national tournament committee from 2012- 2015. This year Coach O’Brien was selected as one of the coaches for the NAIA all-star game as well as serve on the selection committee.
O'Brien's first stop as a head coach was at Central Christian College in McPherson, Kan., where he led the Tigers to the most wins in 24 years, as well as two postseason appearances. While at CCC, O'Brien established himself as a solid recruiter, bringing in three Kansas All-State players for the 2006-2007 season. For the 08-09 season at CCC, he also managed to snag the nation's leading scorer.
Coach O'Brien has been familiar with the KCAC for several years. Prior to Central Christian College, O'Brien was an Assistant Coach at Friends University for seven years, helping to guide the Falcons to their first National tournament berth in school history. Coach O'Brien coached four years under the late legendary Coach Ron Heller. Following Heller, he stayed for three years as an Assistant Coach under Coach Dale Faber. During his stint at Friends, O'Brien had the opportunity to be the Head Coach for a select group of college players, traveling to Spain and France, where his team went 3-1 in international play. As a player, he was a guard for the Falcons for three seasons and was named "Most Inspirational Player" in his final season.
Coach O'Brien comes from a diverse background, growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and attending high school in Conway Springs, Kan., where he received the Most Valuable Player Award in his Junior and Senior Year. Following high school, Coach O'Brien received his undergraduate degree from Friends University in Physical Education and completed his Masters in Management in 2003. O'Brien has also completed a Servant Leadership online course through University of Idaho.
Coaching basketball runs in the O'Brien family. Coach O'Brien's uncle, Jim O'Brien, is the former Head Men's Basketball Coach at both Ohio State University and Boston College.
O’Brien likes to take a family approach to coaching and he includes his own family in the process.
“I am thankful for the support President Andrews and his administration provides for me and our program, as well as leadership they provide to make Southwestern College strong,” O'Brien said. “I am also thankful for the mentorship our athletic director Matt Shelton provides for our athletic department and our basketball team. Our mission as coaches is to make our players better young men. We want our players to learn how to manage their emotions, stress, overcome adversity, be a team, and compete with integrity on the court and in the classroom."
O'Brien, has one daughter, Macy, who will turn eight in November and they reside in Winfield.
Coach O'Brien's coaching philosophy is simple and direct:
The 2016-17 season marks Tim Miser's seventh season on the Southwestern College men's basketball coaching staff, and his second as the team's head assistant coach. Miser completed his Bachelor’s degree from Southwestern in 2010, and received his Master’s degree in Management from Southwestern in 2012. He is in charge of player development and the offense.
He has been instrumental in Southwestern ranking in the top 20 nationally in total scoring, field goal percentage, and scoring offense per game.
Miser’s duties also include scouting and recruiting.
"Southwestern College has a special place in my heart, and I love the family atmosphere here,” Miser said.
“I am thankful to have Coach Miser on staff for another season,” head coach Matt O’Brien said. “He has been a big part of every aspect of our program and has a lot to do with the overall growth of our players on and off the court.”
Miser was born and raised in Emporia, Kan., and enjoys watching and playing sports and working out in his spare time.
GETTING TO KNOW JOSH...
As a Sophomore (2012-13):
As a Freshman (2011-12):
Played basketball at Sabetha High School in Sabetha, Kansas....On the Honor Roll for 4 years...Lettered in basketball for 3 years...National Mathematics Award.
Born May, 9 1993 in Salina, Kansas....Full name is Joshua Dean Sipes...Son of Kelly and Nancy Sipes...Majoring in Mathematics and Secondary Education.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH JOSH...
1. Favorite Movie: Blazing Saddles
2. Favorite Place to Eat in Winfield: Montana Mikes
3. Five Things You Can't Live Without: Family, Church, God, Friends, Argueing
4. Favorite SC Instructor: Ed Loeb
5. Why did you Choose SC? Because i loved the tradition, campus, and teachers along with the chance to be apart of the basketball teamm.
The 2016-17 season marks Rodney Marner's third season as an assistant coach with the Southwestern College men's basketball team. Marner graduated from Southwestern in 2015 with a degree in Education, and was a student-assistant for the team while attending SC. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Management.
Marner was born in Lawrence, Kan., and remains an avid Kansas Jayhawk fan, but was raised in Clearwater, Kan. He enjoys bowling, swimming, and anything outside. He also enjoys seeing movies and spending time with his family.
Beyond coaching, Marner feels he has a bigger role at Southwestern, pugging God first in his life, and allowing for his players to have an opportunity to grow and develop a stronger relationship with God.
Marner resides in Winfield.