Story by Southwestern Assemblies of God Athletics
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Saturday’s 77-74 victory over Texas Wesleyan University lifted No. 4 Southwestern Assemblies of God University to 20-3 this season. It also gave Head Coach Donnie Bostwick his 200th career win.
His Lions built an 18-point second half lead and staved off a comeback bid by the Rams (13-11). It completed a sweep of the series after beating Wesleyan, 86-80, on the road in January.
Bostwick, in his third year at SAGU, has assembled an 80-19 mark since his arrival in the southern suburb of Dallas. A former standout and assistant coach at John Brown University (Ark), his first four seasons as a head coach were at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
While coaching the Eagles his teams posted a stellar 120-20 ledger. OWU won the NAIA Division II national championship at the end of the 2009 season and reached the Round of 16 or higher in the other three campaigns.
Oklahoma Wesleyan, who lost 20 or more games in each of the previous four years before he came to Bartlesville, produced 26-8 (2008), 35-2 (2009), 30-5 (2010) and 29-5 (2011).
In his first year at SAGU the Lions enjoyed the largest turnaround in all of college basketball. After a 10-22 in 2011, SAGU enjoyed a best-ever 27-11 year in 2012, Bostwick’s first.
Last winter they rolled to a 33-5 record, winning the Red River Athletic Conference and advancing to the NAIA championship game.
In the final against Georgetown College, the Lions trailed by seven with thirteen minutes to play before the Tigers pulled away for an 88-62 triumph.
During the season the Purple Pride was 18-2 in games decided by nine points or less. They have now won 40 of 52 contests of similar margins.
The Pryor, Oklahoma native is now 200-39 (.837) with seven games remaining.
His teams are characterized by their cohesion, hustling defense and a penchant for diving for loose balls. The Lions consistently rank very high in offensive rebounds and three-point baskets.
SAGU joined the Sooner Athletic Conference this season, where they hold a 12-2 mark. Both of their setbacks have come on the road where free throws spelled the difference. The home team had a 71-32 edge in attempts.
The Lions are led by senior guard Dominique Rambo. Last year’s NAIA Co-Player of the Year is averaging 22.7 points and 3.33 steals per game.
As for the 200th win, he says not a single win “…would have been possible if it was not for the favor of my God.” To those who know him, that is not just lip service.
His aspiration to become a head coach in college led him along a challenging path. It included five years working his way through the high school ranks, then ten years as a college assistant.
“Many, many nights those dreams seemed like they would never come to fruition,” he said over the weekend.“During those times I learned to lean more on God and trust Him to supply for my family on a limited income.”
“There were some rough challenges, but I never lost hope that God had a plan."