The Judson University Athletics Department has announced the hiring of Brian Thrift as the new Head Men’s Basketball Coach.
“My family and I are thankful and excited for the opportunity to become part of the Judson University community,” said Thrift. “We are excited to get to campus and begin the work of returning Judson to the top of the CCAC. I want to thank the Judson administration for their trust in me to lead the men’s basketball program. I have always dreamed of becoming a collegiate head coach and being able to realize that dream at a place like Judson is a blessing. Our goal is to make Judson Basketball a source of pride for our alumni, students, faculty, and the greater Elgin community.”
Thrift comes to Judson from Manor, Texas with an extensive basketball background at both the high school and collegiate levels. Thrift first got his start coaching basketball while in Union Lake, Michigan as a student assistant at Oakland Community College, and then moved on as the women’s varsity assistant coach at Clarkston High School. Thrift remained in Michigan till 2003 and was the assistant coach at his alma mater Rochester College for the 2002-03 season. For the 2003-04 season, Thrift was the Olivet Nazarene University Graduate Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach in which the Tigers won the CCAC regular season conference title. Thrift then traveled to Abilene, Texas and held the Assistant Men’s Basketball coaching spot from 2004 to 2006 at Abilene Christian University. He then returned to Rochester Hills, Michigan to once again coach at his alma mater, Rochester College. From 2006 to 2011, Thrift held the Assistant Men’s Basketball coaching position while also carrying out the responsibilities as the Assistant Athletic Director. In his five years at Rochester, the men’s basketball program totaled a 113-46 record and had three players named as NAIA All-Americans.
Thrift eventually found his head coaching position in 2011 back in Austin, Texas as he took over as the Head Boy’s Varsity basketball coach at Brentwood Christian School. During his time at Brentwood, he helped the team reach the No. 14 ranking in the state of Texas for the Texas Association of Private & Parochial Schools, won two District Championships in the 2013-14 season and 2015-16 season, and placed second in Districts for the 2012-13 and 2015-16 seasons. In his time at Brentwood, Thrift produced three All-State selections, two District MVP’s, and 16 All-District players. Prior to Thrift receiving the head coaching position, no team had won more than 10 games in a season since 2002-03. Alongside the basketball achievements, Thrift also served as Brentwood’s Varsity Baseball Head Coach and Athletic Director. Thrift coached the baseball team to three consecutive district championships and helped the school with numerous successful marketing and fundraising campaigns while advancing the caliber of the department as a whole through his five years as the Athletic Director.
Thrift completed his Bachelor of Science in Social Work with a minor in Psychology at Rochester College and completed his Masters of Education while at Abilene Christian University.
“We are excited to have Brian and his family at Judson,” said Athletic Director Chad Gassman. “Brian brings over 20 years of basketball coaching experience and has proven that he can coach the game and recruit at this level. Brian’s strong spiritual foundation will be significant as he mentors his team outside of the game of basketball.”
Thrift will take over full coaching responsibilities starting July 1st.
Photo Courtesy: JU Athletics