UAPB names new men’s basketball head coach

UAPB names new men’s basketball head coach

By BCN Staff Reporter Mecca Hinnant — July 2, 2021 — The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluffs Athletics Director Chris Robinson presented Solomon Bozeman as the new head coach of the Men’s Basketball program at a press conference in the STEM Center on June 15. 

He takes over for George Ivory, who retired after 13 seasons as the university’s head coach. The newly appointed Athletics Director congratulated Bozeman in a tweet, “Welcome to the pride!” said Robinson days before the press conference.

This is the decorated former UA Little Rock star’s first Division 1 head coaching job. Bozeman began his coaching career at Abilene Christian University in 2014 after spending some time in the NBA’s Developmental League in Austin and Dallas, He has also played overseas in Macedonia, Israel, Ukraine and Qatar. After a couple of seasons, he then returned to his alma mater UA Little Rock in 2016 as an assistant coach.  

Wes Flanigan, who previously worked alongside Bozeman, said “he’s a great recruiter. I think at some point he will be a head coach himself,” when he joined the Trojan staff, and now it has come to fruition.

The coach showed enthusiasm at his introductory press conference Tuesday as he promised not to let down the administration that gave him a chance and win as a Lion. “I want you guys to know that we are going to win here. We are going to win multiple championships and when we get there we will shock some people,” said Bozeman.

Bozeman thanked Pual Mills at Oral Roberts University, Wes Flanigan at Auburn University and Joe Golding all as influential coaches in his life, all coaches he has previously worked with in his professional coaching career. “I can’t thank those guys enough, they prepared me for this opportunity. Put in a lot of hours, they gave me hope, even as times when I didn’t even believe it,” said Bozeman. 

Oral Roberts University head coach Pual Mills also spoke highly of Bozeman when he joined the program. “Solomon was a decorated player, has been able to build the programs he has been involved with as a coach, is a high character leader, and has an outstanding work ethic. I’m excited to have Solomon join our staff and his contributions will be significant and immediate,” said Mills.

The pair went on to have a successful time together. Leading to Oral Roberts most successful NCAA tournament participation since 1974. The team also made history in the 2020 NCAA tournament by becoming the second No.15 seed to ever reach the Sweet 16 in the tournament, eventually losing to the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Bozeman deemed the Lions road to success possible by creating a winning culture through enthusiasm, integrity and commitment. UAPB ranked No. 42 in the U.S. News’ Regional Colleges South, the highest among all HBCUs in Arkansas and a great opportunity for any future recruits.

He has plenty of time to prepare the Golden Lions for their next season, who finished the season (4-21) with a loss to Jackson State in the Cricket Wireless SWAC Basketball Tournament.

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