By Jared Fields, Sports Editor
Former Lubbock Christian University assistant basketball coach Jason Copeland has been named the new head coach of the Wildcats after the resignation of former coach Klint Pleasant last spring. Copeland spent the past seven years as the assistant at LCU under his father, John Copeland.
Jason Copeland coached the Lubbock Christian High School team after graduating from LCU in 1997. He led the Eagles to a 41-18 record with two district titles in his two years at LCHS. In 1998 he returned to LCU to be the main assistant and was in charge of recruiting and scheduling.
Copeland said he looks to bring hard work and a new attitude to a men’s squad that won only one conference game last year.
Athletic Director Jared Mosley said he is excited about what Copeland brings to the team.
“He understands how to find quality student-athletes and has a good understanding of basketball from studying under people like his father and Bob Knight [Texas Tech University’s head basketball coach],” Mosley said.
Copeland said he also looks to improve the team’s chemistry and build on new players coming into the system.
“We need hard workers, and we feel like the kids coming in are happy to be here and understand our program. We think they [transfer students] will be big parts in our system with the things they’ve already done,” Copeland said.
Copeland said getting the job in early June made him feel behind in recruiting but said his assistants did a great job bringing in recruits.
“My assistants did a great job this offseason getting players,” Copeland said. “They got kids who were in winning programs in high school and know what it takes to win.”
Copeland brought more than just players to ACU during the offseason. He also hired former ACU player Joe Golding as an assistant.
Golding was a player with the Wildcats for the 1994-’98 seasons before becoming a coach in the high school and college ranks. Golding spent last year as an assistant at Collin County Community College.
Copeland said he has some things in mind he wants to do with this year’s team but dwelling on last year is not one of them.
“Playing hard is a must to make our team better and defending well,” Copeland said. “Our depth needs to be better too. I want to have a better one through 10 instead of a top one or two players like we’ve had in the past.”
“A good goal might be to get to the conference tournament,” he said. “But you can expect us to come out and play hard.”