By Ray Fink, Sports Information Director, Oklahoma Baptist University
Oklahoma Baptist University's all-time leader in women's basketball coaching victories is moving to the NBA.
John McCullough ended his 12-year career at OBU Monday to take the job as advance scout with the National Basketball Association's Portland Trailblazers. He will serve as part of the staff of first-year coach Terry Stotts, a long-time friend of McCullough. The two played basketball together at the University of Oklahoma.
Lady Bison Assistant Casi Cox-Bays has been named interim head coach.
"It was a tough decision after 12 years at Oklahoma Baptist University," McCullough said. "This has been a wonderful life experience for me and our family. We will miss the relationships of the players who have come through and the coaches. We will always remember OBU with a smile on our faces."
McCullough was 272-131 at OBU, including the only two 30-win seasons in the program's history. He won two Sooner Athletic Conference titles and took the Lady Bison to their lone appearance in the NAIA Fab Four in 2009.
"It's tough to see John go," said OBU Director of Athletics Robert Davenport. "He's been a tremendous ambassador for OBU basketball and a great person on top of that. We're excited for his opportunity to move up to the NBA and wish him the best."
Cox-Bays takes over after two seasons as the assistant coach of the team. Prior to coming to OBU, she was a two-time Coach of the Year at Newcastle High School. Cox-Bays coached the OGBCA All-State and the Jim Thorpe All-Star Games in 2010 and the Little All-City All-Star Game in 2009.
"We're excited to see Casi move up in the role of interim head coach," Davenport said. "I am more than confident in her coaching ability. She is a woman of great character and strength and we will support her in every facet."
Cox-Bays has a 99-28 record coaching high school girls, including a season at Bridge Creek High School and four at Newcastle.
As a player at OBU, she was Sooner Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and a four-time All-Conference selection. She earned second-team NAIA All-America honors as a senior and NAIA All-America honorable mention her junior year. Cox-Bays broke the OBU record for three-pointers in a game (10) in her sophomore season and the SAC career three-point record with 378. She ended her career fifth on the OBU all-time scoring list with 1,879 points.
"It's bittersweet because I played for Coach McCullough and coached with him," Cox-Bays said. "I'm excited for him to get to go to Portland. I'm also very excited about this opportunity that Robert Davenport and others have given me. We've got a good group of girls here."