Oral Roberts Basketball Staff Update

New Head Men’s Basketball Coach Paul Mills wasted no time filling his coaching staff at Oral Roberts University, adding Talvin Hester and Sam Patterson to fill his two vacant positions. Rodney Perry (associate head coach) and Steve Upshaw (director of basketball operations) were retained by Mills.

“I am very fortunate to have Talvin Hester and Sam Patterson join us here at ORU,” said Mills. “Each of them have wonderful families, are extremely talented, and will be great representatives of ORU.”

Hester joins the ORU men’s basketball program after three years at the University of Houston, but worked at eight different programs in Texas at both the college and professional levels, including Texas State, Stephen F. Austin and the Texas Rim Rockers of the USBL. In his three years at Houston, the Cougars won 22 games in 2015-16, and notched a 70-68 victory over defending national champion UCONN in his first season on the bench. Hester was also an important part of the off-court work at Houston, serving Thanksgiving meals to Star of Hope Mission and leading a Texas Special Olympics event.

“I am excited to be at ORU,” said Hester. “I wanted to come work for a great coach in Coach Mills. It was an opportunity where I feel like we can win and win at high level. I saw what Coach Mills got done at Baylor and if he can bring that same enthusiasm and excitement to ORU, I want to be a part of it. The family atmosphere that he talks about within the University and within the team was something I wanted to be a part of, where everyone buys in to one vision and one goal.  When Coach Mills called me I was all in.”

“I have known Talvin for a long time and I’ve admired his work,” said Mills. “He has learned a lot under several terrific coaches and brings with him a wealth of knowledge from good conferences. His experiences will propel ORU forward. He is as committed a coach as I’ve known and will work tirelessly for ORU to compete for Summit League championships.”

Patterson spent 13 seasons at Baylor, including the last five as the director of video operations. He was a video coordinator for two seasons and also spent time with the Bears as a student manager and graduate assistant. He has served as camp director of the Scott Drew Basketball Camps for the past seven years, creating camp schedules and directing camps of more than 250 campers. From 2007-09 he served as the Big 12 Conference president for the non-profit organization “Managers vs. Cancer.” He has been invited to coach at more than 20 summer basketball camps nationwide.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to coach at a Christian university that walks the walk of what they are preaching,” said Patterson. “I’m excited to work with these young men and build them up on and off the court and take what I’ve learned from Coach Drew at Baylor and instill that here at ORU. Coach Mills and I have been together since my time in college. He has taken me under his wing and has mentored me and to have the relationship with him and the trust that he has in me to ask me to come with him means a lot to me and is humbling. I’m excited to move my family to Tulsa. I’ve heard nothing but great things and the community has already been great about reaching out and making us feel welcome.”

“I have worked with Sam for each of the past 13 seasons,” said Mills. “He has had a great deal to do with the success at Baylor and has contributed significantly to our offensive success during that time. His international ties and knowledge of Teas will help enhance our recruiting too. The ORU community will be ecstatic that Sam, Tricia and Joy are a part of this basketball program.”


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