Ekanem named Assistant Basketball Coach at Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State head coach Steve Lutz has hired Mike Ekanem as an assistant coach.

Ekanem held similar titles the past two seasons at George Mason (2023-24) and Sam Houston (2022-23) and has served on support staffs at Arkansas, Texas A&M, Nevada and Memphis as well as with the San Antonio Spurs.

Lutz said:

“Mike is a rising star in the coaching world. He understands the hard work and daily habits that build successful people and programs because he’s been around them his entire career. We are excited that he, his wife Hannah and his sons, Major and Tye, will be joining us in Stillwater.”

Ekanem well-regarded in college basketball circles. Silver Waves Media included him on its 2023 list of rising mid-major assistant coaches. He was chosen to participate in the 2022 TopConnect Assistant Coach Forum and featured in the April 2022 edition of Ballers Magazine.

Last season at George Mason, Ekanem helped get the Tony Skinn Era off to a successful start with a 20-12 finish. The Patriots’ posted their highest winning percentage since 2012 and knocked off their highest-rated opponent (No. 16 Dayton) since upsetting UConn in the 2006 Elite Eight. Defensively, GMU led the A-10 in scoring defense (65.9) and limited foes to a .404 field goal percentage (15th nationally).

Before that, Ekanem helped Sam Houston put together a dominant defense of its own while working under Jason Hooten. The 2022-23 Bearkats won a school-record 26 games along with the WAC regular season title and advanced to the second round of the NIT. Along the way, they held opponents to a paltry 59.3 points per game (4th nationally) on 39.1% shooting (7th) and forced an average of 16.6 turnovers (11th).  Ekanem was instrumental in the team’s recruiting efforts, helping land the first and third-highest rated signees in program history.

Ekanem teamed up with Eric Musselman for separate stints at Nevada (2018-19) and Arkansas (2021-22), both of which culminated with NCAA tournament bids. He was the Razorbacks’ Director of Player Development during a season that ended in the Elite Eight and helped reel in the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class. As Multimedia Specialist, he helped Nevada to a 29-5 record, the Mountain West regular season crown and a No. 7 seed in the Big Dance.

In between, Ekanem spent two seasons in the SEC as Buzz Williams’ Director of Scouting at Texas A&M.

Prior to his time at Nevada, Ekanem worked for four years at Memphis (2014-18) – the first two as Special Assistant for Josh Pastner. He was retained by Tubby Smith and coordinated the program’s video and social media efforts, while assisting with scouting and recruiting.

Before arriving at Memphis, Ekanem worked at Louisiana Tech as an assistant women’s basketball coach, overseeing the recruiting, scheduling, camps and guard development.

From 2007-13, Ekanem was employed by Spurs Sports and Entertainment as a Basketball Operations Assistant for the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich and as Director of Video and Athletic Performance for the San Antonio Stars of the WNBA. For both organizations, he assisted in practice and game preparation, video, skill development and strength and conditioning.

A Houston native and 2005 Texas Lutheran graduate, Ekanem was an all-conference player and four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs before moving overseas to play professionally.

Ekanem earned a master’s degree in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2008.  He also holds certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and National Academy of Sports Medicine.


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