By Joshua Parrott, Sports Writer
Klint Pleasant had dreamed of the moment ever since he left ACU for David Lipscomb University in 1996. He turned down an assistant coaching job at the University of Arkansas because he said Kent State gave him the best chance to become a head coach. He even sent a letter to Shanon Hays, ACU director of athletics, expressing his interest in the men’s basketball program.
The chance to coach at ACU was the only thing that would take him away from Kent State.
Hays helped make Pleasant’s dream come true earlier this month, naming the former Kent State assistant coach the new head men’s basketball coach, replacing Mike Martin, who resigned July 24.
Pleasant was a member of the KSU pro gram that set a conference record for most wins in a season, captured the Mid-American Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament regional finals and fell to Indiana University. Pleasant also played football at ACU under Dr. Bob Strader before heading to David Lipscomb to become a student assistant basketball coach under Don Meyer, who has more than 700 victories in his coaching career.
Pleasant said he was simply excited to be back at a place he can call home.
“I wasn’t just interested in becoming a head coach anywhere,” Pleasant said. “I want to be a part of this university and get to know people in the community, too.”
Hays said the hiring of Pleasant was a move in the right direction for the men’s basketball program.
“He expressed to me this could be a job that could be his ministry,” Hays said. “He has preached in several congregations and had a lot of great people call and recommend him.”
Hays said that he had a good number of candidates for the job, including several other Division I assistant coaches, but Hays said that he felt comfortable with what Pleasant had to offer, including his experiences as an ACU student-athlete.
Pleasant said he understands he has little control given his position, but he can control his team’s attitude.
“I’m going to be very demanding and I’m going to have some things in this program that are non-negotiable,” Pleasant said. “Those things include that they have a team attitude, work hard everyday, and that they are respectful. I will be very demanding, but also very understanding.”
Hays said that Pleasant is a perfect fit for ACU because he can relate with the experiences of his players and because his father, Garth Pleasant, coached for almost 30 years at the collegiate level.
“He knows what coaching at a Christian institution is all about and has so much enthusiasm for the game,” Hays said. “I feel that he is an answer to our prayers.”