I mentioned this one in Sunday’s Daily Dirt It’s now been made official….
Eastern New Mexico Athletic Director Matt Billings is proud to announce the hiring of Brent Owen as the next head men’s basketball coach at Eastern New Mexico University.
Owen becomes the 14th head coach in the history of Eastern New Mexico men’s basketball and will take over the program following Tres Segler’s resignation on April 6 to pursue other career opportunities outside of basketball. Owen joins the Greyhounds following a nine-year tenure as an assistant coach at the University of Southern Indiana.
“I’m very pleased that Brent Owen will be our head men’s basketball coach at Eastern New Mexico as he is a man of high integrity and will be a great role model for our student-athletes.” Billings said, “He brings a great passion for the game of basketball to Eastern New Mexico and the future of Greyhound basketball is very bright with Coach Owen at the helm. I’m extremely excited to welcome Brent, his wife Ashley and his son, Kruze to the Greyhound family!”
Owen was instrumental in the rise of the Southern Indiana men’s basketball program, amassing a total record of 274-93 during his time as either a player or as an assistant coach with the Screaming Eagles. Southern Indiana finished with 20 or more wins in each of the last four seasons with Owen as the lead assistant, including a record of 26-9 and a trip to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals in 2018-19.
“I could not be more excited to be named the head basketball coach at Eastern New Mexico University!” Owen said, “I would like to thank Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Long, Athletic Director Matt Billings and the entire committee for trusting me to lead this program and the young men in our locker room. You are now part of my family and I look forward to building relationships that will last a lifetime here at Eastern New Mexico.”
Owen served as the recruiting coordinator and coordinated opponent scouting for Southern Indiana’s all-time winningest head coach Rodney Watson and accumulated a record of 203-69 in nine seasons as an assistant coach for the Screaming Eagles. He and Watson guided a program that was ranked inside the National Top-25 Polls for seven consecutive years and had a hand in the recruitment and development of 18 All-GLVC selections and six NCAA Division II All-Americans, including Jeril Taylor, the 2017 GLVC Player of the Year and Alex Stein, Southern Indiana’s all-time leading scorer and the 12th overall pick in the 2019 NBA G-League draft.
A native of Chrisman, Ill., Owen was a three-time Academic All-GLVC performer during his career at Southern Indiana from 2006-09. He immediately joined the Screaming Eagle coaching staff following the conclusion of his playing career in 2009-10 and was promoted to a full-time assistant position in 2011-12.
That first season as a full-time member of the coaching staff for Owen proved to be a good one as the Screaming Eagles posted an overall record of 24-7 and won the GLVC Tournament Championship at season’s end, securing an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. The Screaming Eagles have made five appearances in the national tournament during Owen’s tenure as an assistant coach, and rank in the top five in all of Division II basketball in winning percentage over that timeframe as well.
“I am as competitive as anyone you have met and I went after this job because I see a great opportunity to build a program that will be recognized as one of the best in the nation.” Owen said, “I can promise you that we will give you everything that we have and will treat people right and will operate in a manner that will make our campus and community proud.”
His term as a member of the Southern Indiana coaching staff briefly came to a pause in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons as Owen served as the head coach at Tell City High School in Tell City, Ind. for two seasons. He returned to the staff at Southern Indiana as the lead assistant in 2014-15 and continued to elevate the Southern Indiana program to national recognition.
Owen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Southern Indiana in 2009 and again in 2012 with a master’s degree in public administration. He and his wife Ashley have one son Kruze and are expecting the birth of their second son in July of 2020.