Veteran basketball coach Stephen Gentry joined Brad Underwood’s coaching staff at Oklahoma State as the Director of Player Development.
Gentry spent the last three seasons with Underwood at Stephen F. Austin as an assistant coach, where he helped the Lumberjacks rack up a total of 89 wins, which are tied for the most by any coaching staff in its first three campaigns. Gentry’s primary duties at SFA were on-court coaching including overseeing the skill development program, recruiting and scouting.
“Stephen is one of the elite basketball minds in our business,” Underwood said. “He’s very accomplished in terms of his resume, and he’s been associated with quality coaches like Pat Riley, Mark Turgeon and Billy Kennedy. I got very acquainted with him when he was a part of my staff at Stephen F. Austin. He’s very creative and a tremendous basketball mind. He’s going to be an excellent resource for our players and a tremendous asset to our program.”
Last season, Gentry helped the Lumberjacks win 28 games, including a first-round upset of No. 3 seed West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. The magical season capped off a run of success at SFA that included three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, three straight Southland Conference titles, a 53-1 record in league play, three SLC Player of the Year awards and three SLC Coach of the Year awards.
Gentry was responsible for the mentorship and development of two-time SLC player of the Year and 2016 Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year, Thomas Walkup. Gentry was also responsible for the scouting of key SLC victories over Sam Houston State, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Incarnate Word. Gentry also had the scouting responsibility for the NCAA Tournament win over VCU, SFA’s 1st ever NCAA Tournament victory.
“I’m excited to be joining coach Underwood at Oklahoma State and to be joining the Cowboy family,” Gentry said. “I’ve been blessed to have been with Brad the last three seasons and have seen first-hand the passion and devotion that he brings every day. His ability to connect with and motivate student-athletes is second to none.”
Gentry’s second season with the Lumberjacks yielded similar results. SFA posted a 29-5 overall record and came within a win of sweeping conference play for the second-straight season. The squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round as a No. 12 seed for the second-consecutive season, where it faced off against fifth-seeded Utah.
Gentry played a vital part in the Lumberjacks’ success upon his arrival in 2013-14, which included a 32-3 overall record, 18-0 Southland Conference mark, SLC regular season and tournament titles, NCAA Tournament second round victory over fifth-seeded VCU and berth in the third round against fourth-seeded UCLA.
Gentry has ample recruiting ties nationwide, and has signed multiple players from Texas, Kansas and Iowa. Gentry was responsible for the recruitment of Dallas native, Ty Charles, who was runner up for SLC freshman of the year in 2015.
Prior to SFA, Gentry spent six seasons at Texas A&M, including his final two as the Director of Basketball Operations under head coach Billy Kennedy. Previously he worked for four years as the video coordinator under former Aggie, and now Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon.
Gentry was a part of one of the most successful eras in Aggie basketball and in his six seasons helped the program win 129 games, advance to four NCAA Tournaments and develop three future NBA draft picks. In his last role there, Gentry was primarily responsible for A&M’s scheduling, recruiting database and correspondence, overseeing the scouting and statistical programs, camps and other administrative duties.
Gentry spent his first four seasons in College Station as Mark Turgeon’s video coordinator, helping A&M to four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths and first round victories. Known for his preparation and scouting abilities, Gentry played a vital role in preparing the A&M defense, which was consistently ranked at the top of the Big 12 Conference.
Gentry came to A&M after one year as a video intern for the NBA’s Miami Heat and Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley. The Heat won the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in Gentry’s season with the franchise.
Prior to his stint with the Heat, Gentry played four seasons of college basketball at Gonzaga University for Mark Few, lettering three times as a guard. He was teammates with Adam Morrison, the 2006 college player of the year and No. 3 pick in that year’s NBA Draft.
During Gentry’s four years, the Zags put together a 107-20 record, winning four straight West Coast Conference titles. Gonzaga advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2006 and made the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament three other times in his career.
Gentry is married to the former Leah Wahlgren, a former Oklahoma State Cowgirl basketball player. They have one daughter, Svea.
Photo Courtesy OSU Athletics