Avila University has announced the hiring of Bill Sloan as interim head coach of the men’s basketball program, effective immediately.
Sloan, a lifelong resident of Kansas City, spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach under former head coach Rodney Perry, who left his post in early August to accept a coaching position at Oral Roberts University. Before joining the Avila coaching staff in 2014, Coach Sloan had two separate stints as head assistant men’s basketball coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College, the first from 1991-1998, and the second from 2002-2013.
“I have been involved with the game of basketball for a long time, and words cannot express my excitement to earn this opportunity at Avila,” Sloan said about being brought on as the head coach of the program. “My time with Rodney (Perry) and my time at KCK have prepared me for this, and I just cannot wait to get started.”
Sloan will inherit a team coming off of arguably their best season in program history, winning a school record 20 games and earning the No. 4 overall seed in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament, their highest since joining the league.
“We believe that bringing in Coach Sloan will give our student-athletes a sense of stability going forward,” Avila Director of Athletics Cristina Cowan said on Friday. “He is a big reason why many of our current players are in an Avila uniform, and he understands what it is going to take to continue the program on the path to consistent success.”
Sloan’s familiarity with the program will be a great advantage with team practices set to begin in less than one month, but he said that he has been preparing his entire career for this opportunity to come up, and he’s ready to accept the challenge.
“I know there is not a lot of time from now to our first practice, but I am just ready to hit the ground running and get our players ready to push this program to new heights,” Sloan said. “To get a head coaching job at a place that is on the rise like Avila in the area I’ve spent my whole life in, I just cannot wait to get started.”
The Eagles will open the 2016-17 season on November 4 against Ottawa University at the KCAC/Heart Challenge in Ottawa, Kan.