Nick McCutcheon, Director of Athletic Media Relations
ST. JOSEPH – Missouri Western State University Director of Athletics Josh Looney announced the hiring of Sundance Wicks as the fifth head men’s basketball coach at Missouri Western State University, Wednesday morning.
“When this search process started, our mission was to find a coach who possessed two defining characteristics: a relentless recruiter, and someone who has been part of building a championship culture at the NCAA Division II level. These characteristics were non-negotiable,” Looney said.
“With ‘Sunny,’ we not only found a proven recruiter and winner, but we also found someone with an unwavering commitment to engaging and motivating communities through basketball. His energy and passion for basketball are unmistakable and he is the perfect fit to lead the resurgence of our men’s basketball program. We can’t wait for St. Joseph to meet our next head coach.”
An introductory press conference will be held Friday, March 30 at 11 a.m. in the Hall of Fame Room inside Spratt Memorial Stadium. A meet and greet session will be held immediately following the press conference in the Spratt Memorial Stadium Club.
Wicks will come to Missouri Western fresh off the NCAA Division II national championship game as the associate head coach at Northern State University, his alma mater. Wicks brings extensive experience to MWSU as an assistant coach at the Division II and Division I levels.
Since 2016, Wicks served as associate head coach at Northern State. He helped lead the Wolves to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular season and postseason championships this year. Northern State also claimed the central region championship en route to the program’s first-ever appearance in the national championship game.
“To say that I am jacked up to be the next men’s basketball coach at Missouri Western would be an understatement,” Wicks said. “First off, I would like to thank Dr. Vartabedian and Josh Looney for entrusting me with this awesome leadership position. The search committee consisting of Mike Halloran, Brett Esely and Eric Kramer were absolute rock stars.”
“This job, in my opinion, is a sleeping giant and I’m ready to wake up the beast and help transform this program into one the St. Joseph community will rally behind for years to come. This is an exciting time for Griffon Athletics. You can tell by all the energy and enthusiasm throughout the athletic department and the campus community that Missouri Western is ready for the fight and about to take flight.”
After lettering four years as a student-athlete at Northern State from 1999-2003, Wicks held assistant coaching positions at Northern State, Colorado (2006-07), Northern Illinois (2007-11) and San Francisco (2015-16). Wicks also built the Arizona Power Basketball Academy, serving as a skill instructor and director from 2011-15. Prior to launching the APBA, he spent five months training NBA pre-draft prospects at the Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas. Wicks’ draft class trainees included Kawhi Leonard, Alec Burks and Isaiah Thomas.
Wicks began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at Northern State under the legendary Don Meyer. As a student-athlete, Wicks was twice named first team All-NSIC, scoring 1,174 points and pulling down 665 rebounds in his career. He was also a two-time All-NSIC performer in the 400-meter hurdles at Northern State. After graduation, Wicks played for the Sodertalje Kings in Sweden. He led the team in points and rebounding.
Wicks received a bachelor’s degree in international business from Northern State in 2003 and a master’s degree in health, physical education and coaching from Northern State in 2006.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SUNDANCE WICKS
“Coach Wicks is a tireless worker that will bring a contagious energy to everyone around him. He will create a winning culture at Missouri Western that people will be proud of. He’s a total package coach that will be impactful not only on the court, but in the community.” – Paul Sather, head coach, Northern State University
“I have witnessed, first hand, the passion that Sundance has for teaching the game of basketball. His knowledge of the game and ability to connect with young people is second to none. The basketball program at Missouri Western is in great hands!” – Greg McDermott, head coach, Creighton University
“Missouri Western just got some serious juice! I’ve been around some of the greatest basketball people on this earth and no one will bring more energy, passion, work ethic and true team building than Sundance Wicks. Every day I was around him, I got better. Every day my family, players and staff were around him, they got better. Missouri Western just got better today and will continue to do so each day Sundance is leading, guiding, mentoring and coaching your young men. You got a great man and great coach to lead your program.” – Rex Walters, assistant coach, Detroit Pistons