Wayland welcomes Harrelson as new coach

July 13, 2015

PLAINVIEW – Ty Harrelson’s philosophy of coaching is stated simply: “We will let the process take care of the results.”

For Wayland Baptist University, the process has brought Harrelson back to the Pioneers, this time as head coach. A former Pioneer player from 2001-2003, Harrelson has spent the last 12 years playing and coaching basketball overseas ‑ most recently as a player/coach for the Southwest Slammers in Australia, where he has transformed the team into a playoff contender.

In spite of his success in various countries around the world, Harrelson said he was excited to return to Wayland and begin life as a collegiate basketball coach, not too far from his family home in Wichita Falls.

“This is an exciting moment for me,” Harrelson said as he was introduced Monday afternoon to the Plainview and Wayland community. Harrelson’s mother, grandmother, sister, niece and nephews were in attendance as he spoke about his love of the sport and his love for Wayland.

“I promise to give you everything I have during my tenure as head basketball coach,” he said. “My goal is to win the (Sooner Athletic Conference) every year, get back to Kansas City every year, and win a national championship every year. I won’t back down from that expectation.

“Wayland is going to be a small college powerhouse where players who are serious about education and winning will want to attend. And whether we succeed in that endeavor or not, student athletes who come to play for WBU will leave prepared to light the way and serve on their journey through life with a first-class degree from a great university.”

Harrelson will travel back to Australia at the end of the month to fulfill his duties with the Southwest Slammers who are about to enter the playoffs. Once the season is over, he will be on campus full time.

Harrelson takes over for Matt Garnett who resigned to teach school and spend more time with his wife and three young daughters. Garnett led the Pioneers for four seasons, earning trips to the NAIA national championship tournament the last two years. Last season, Garnett led Wayland to its first SAC tournament championship.

Harrelson will spend the next few weeks on the recruiting trail as he tries to shore up a roster that saw the departure of 6 seniors.

A former point guard for the Pioneers, Harrelson was Wayland’s first, first-team NAIA All American (2003). He still holds school records for average assists per game (6.8), most assists in a game (15) and free-throw percentage (88.8). He is currently 28th on the Pioneers all-time scoring list, accumulating 1,111 points in just two seasons with the team.