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McPherson Inducted Into An NAIA Hall of Fame
Longtime USAO Basketball Coach, Athletic Director

CHICKASHA—The athletic director at the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma has been inducted into a hall of fame of the NAIA. Brisco McPherson was recently inducted into the John McLendon Minority Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame. The hall is affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Athletic Director McPherson has held the position for more than 10 years, and has been involved with USAO’s athletic department for 40 years. Athletic Director McPherson was a longtime men’s basketball coach at USAO and led the Drovers to the 2002 NAIA championship. “It’s humbling to me because it’s an administration award, not coaching,” the athletic director said.

“It’s right up there with the naming of the USAO court after me and the national championship when it comes to its importance to me,” he added. Now in its fifth year, the hall of fame recognizes individuals who have committed their lives to enhancing athleticsadministration. Those previously inducted are Clarence E. ‘Big House’ Gaines, Claude English and Dr. LeRoy Walker.

“It comes as little surprise to me that the hall has singled out Coach McPherson for recognition,” John Feaver, president of USAO, said. “In the three decades and counting that I have known and worked alongside him,” the university president continued, “ I have found Coach McPherson to be a man of the highest integrity, capable of making the tough decisions, and is 100 percent dedicated to the university’s mission.”

Coach McPherson, who has been the university’s athletic director for 12 years, was inducted during the 49th annual convention of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics that was held in Orlando, Fla.

Representatives from that organization, as well as the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Major League Baseball were also inducted.

The hall is named for John McLendon, the first Black head coach in any professional sport.

He was the first Black to become head basketball coach at a white university, and is credited to be a major contributor to the development of modern basketball. Coach McLendon was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. “For me to receive an honor named after him made it even more special,” Athletic Director McPherson said.

The three inducted earlier into the hall are men whom the USAO athletic director has revered over the years. Coach Walker was the first Black to serve as president of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and a former chancellor and track & field coach at North Carolina Central University.

Coach English is a retired player and coach who played one season with the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA in the early 1970’s. Today, he is athletic director at Park University.

Coach Gaines, also inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, was coach for 47 years at Winston-Salem State University and led his team to win a Division II NCAA championship, becoming the first program from a Black college to capture an NCAA title.

“They are quality people with whom to be associated,” the USAO athletic director commented. “It’s a pretty big honor.” Athletic Director McPherson has been involved with the university for nearly the entire 40 years of its athletic programs. The newly-inducted member of the NAIA-connected hall of fame is a graduate of Northeast High School of Oklahoma City. Playing on the first men’s basketball team at the college (then the Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts), Athletic Director McPherson still ranks among the school’s all-time leaders in scoring, shooting percentage and rebounds.

Three years after playing for the Drovers, he returned as the assistant men’s basketball coach, a position he held for 11 years before becoming head coach in 1991. He retired from coaching after the 2012-13 season, but maintained his role as athletic director.

As a coach, he led the Drovers to six NAIA championship tournament appearances, including back-to-back trips to the final game in the early 2000’s. In 2002, the Drovers claimed the school’s only NAIA title.

In all, he collected 309 wins and was the 22nd winningest coach in the NAIA as he headed into his final season.

In Nov. 2012, McPherson was inducted into the USAO Athletic Hall of Fame, and that same day, the USAO Fieldhouse floor was dedicated to him and renamed Brisco McPherson Court.

McPherson graduated from USAO in 1976 with bachelor’s degrees in sociology and psychology. He received his master’s degree in physical education from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1984.

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