OFFICIAL: Sligh named assistant at Missouri State

We reported this as a rumor last week – it’s now official…

Missouri State University men’s basketball coach Paul Lusk has finalized his staff for the upcoming season with the formal announcement of Matt Sligh as the Bears’ new assistant coach Monday.

Sligh spent the last two years as head coach at Motlow College in Tullahoma, Tenn., where he helped lead the Bucks to a 23-6 record in 2014-15 and final NJCAA Division I ranking of No. 17 in the national juco poll. His club finished second in the Region VII tournament this year and ranked among the top 10 junior college programs in the nation in scoring (95.2), assists, 3-point field goals made, blocks and defensive rebounds.

“We’re really happy about Matt joining our staff,” said Lusk who is beginning his fifth season at the helm of the Bears. “He’s a quality individual who can help us in all areas of our program. I know our players, our fans and our community will embrace him and his wife Marina as part of the Missouri State family.”

Sligh was 37-20 in his two seasons at Motlow with a pair of NJCAA All-America performers and four All-Region VII standouts to his credit.

“I’m extremely honored and blessed to join such a tradition-rich program and quality staff,” said Sligh. “Coach Lusk is a great coach, and he treats his guys the right way. I’m looking forward to getting started right away and being part of this program.”

Prior to taking the Motlow College job in 2013, he was the top assistant coach at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., from 2010-2013 for legendary coach Larry Holley. He was part of a 25-8 season in 2010-11 that culminated in an NAIA Division I Tournament berth and was instrumental in recruiting, scouting and the program’s transition to NCAA Division II status. Sligh helped coach and recruit six all-conference players at William Jewell and an NAIA All-American.

A native of Lakeland, Fla., Sligh enjoyed a successful three-sport collegiate career at Covenant College in Georgia where he excelled in soccer, basketball and golf. He was a two-time NAIA Academic All-American at Covenant and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 2005. He went on to earn his Masters in health and physical education from Northwest Missouri State in 2012.

Sligh, 32, was also a standout prep athlete at Lakeland (Fla.) Christian School where he earned 13 varsity letters in four sports and scored 1,135 points as an all-state basketball performer and two-time district player of the year for the Vikings.

His hire is contingent upon final approval by the Missouri State University Board of Governors at its next scheduled meeting, May 14.

He joins a Missouri State coaching staff that includes fellow assistants Jermaine Henderson and Brad Korn who are entering their fourth and third seasons in the program, respectively. The Bears will have eight squad members returning for 2015-16, including all five starters.

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