OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -Five days before its season opener, the coach of two-time defending NAIA Division I basketball champion Oklahoma City University left on Monday to take a major-college job.
Oklahoma City athletic director Jim Abbott said Tommy Wade, who had been the Stars' coach since April 10, told Abbott he was taking a job within the basketball program at Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State athletic department spokesman Mike Noteware said he couldn't confirm that Wade had been hired but said an announcement could come Tuesday.
Wade is a native of Hopkinsville, Ky., which is about 35 miles from Madisonville, Ky., the hometown of new Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford.
Abbott moved quickly to fill his vacancy, promoting assistant Kevin Morrissey to lead a program that is considered among the elite in the small-college ranks. The 35-year-old Morrissey, a former head coach at Oklahoma City's Sooner Athletic Conference rival, St. Gregory's, had become Wade's assistant in June.
Wiley (Texas) on Saturday in the Stars' season opener. The NAIA preseason rankings will come out next week, and the Stars are expected to be in the top 10.
Oklahoma City has won six NAIA titles, the most of any school, and reached the past three national title games under coach Ray Harper, who left in April to become an assistant at Western Kentucky. Harper had deep Kentucky roots, having spent nine seasons at his alma mater, Kentucky Wesleyan, and guiding that program to NCAA Division II titles in 1999 and 2001.
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