Langston University has announced an extension to retain head men’s basketball coach Chris Wright for the next four years, after a remarkable first season with the Lions. The contract extension will be ratified by the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents in April.
“I have never witnessed this magnitude of a program shift in one year,” said Director of Athletics Donnita Rogers. “The total culture of the men’s basketball program has been impacted by Coach Wright’s leadership.”
“Coach Wright has successfully fostered growth within the Langston University Men’s Basketball program both athletically and academically,” said vice president for academic affairs Dr. Ruth Ray Jackson. “Our Men’s Basketball team had an average GPA of 3.14 for the Fall semester, which is commendable of any team and especially one competing at this level. The accomplishments of his student-athletes in the classroom are as impressive as their performance on the court.”
Of its 16 members, 11 of the Lions earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the Fall 2022 semester.
The 2022-2023 Lions have achieved the most successful year-to-year turnaround of any collegiate men’s basketball program in history. In their first season with Wright at the helm, the Lions went 26-2 overall in the regular season, making history as the first HBCU to win the Sooner Athletic Conference regular season title and the conference tournament title. The transformation of this program cannot be overstated and has garnered national attention.
“The success Coach Wright brings to this team and to our institution is special,” said Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr., President of Langston University. “Their impact is not isolated to athletics alone; it’s building positive momentum for the institution at large. There are a lot of programs that would benefit from his style of coaching. We are happy that Coach Wright has found his home here at Dear Langston.”
“Langston University is a very special place. Our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community have truly rallied around our program and helped us create a culture of success,” Wright said. “The commitment from our president, director of athletics, administration, and everyone supporting our team has changed my life and the lives of the young men in this program for the better.”
Langston University hosted the first and second rounds of the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship on campus, where the Lions clinched a ticket to the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Tournament Round of 16 in Kansas City, Missouri. Now 31-2 overall in a storybook season, Langston University and Chris Wright look forward to creating a winning program for years to come.