Rice Assistant Omar Mance Named Head Basketball Coach at Trevecca Nazarene

Trevecca Nazarene University Athletic Director Mark Elliott has named Rice University assistant and former Vanderbilt University director of recruiting and player personnel Omar Mance as the ninth men’s basketball head coach in Trojans’ program history.

Mance was mentioned as a finalist by HoopDirt.com earlier today (DII DIRT: Trevecca Nazarene Search Update).

Elliott said, “This is such a critical hire for our community. Men’s basketball at Trevecca is our football, and this is our third hire for that position in 40 years.”

“In this search, we concentrated on these priorities: One, spiritual leadership. Two, someone who will lead all aspects of the program. Three, someone who can build relationships with local athletes, local coaches, alumni, and those who may have never heard of Trevecca. Coach O checks all those boxes and embodies our Christian, Scholar, Athlete philosophy.”

Elliott concluded, “We believe this hire is symbolic of who we are and where we are going as a university. It aligns with how Trevecca and our Nashville community have grown over time and in particular, the last decade. We believe hiring someone with the depth and quality of his character will profoundly change our program and the perception of Trevecca within the city of Nashville and the surrounding region.”

With a coaching resume that includes positions at Vanderbilt, Liberty University, and Rice the 38-year-old Mance is excited to lead the Trevecca men’s basketball program into its 51st season.

“I am extremely excited and honored to be the new head coach at Trevecca Nazarene University,” he said. “I am thankful to Dr. Dan Boone and Mark Elliott for believing in me and my vision for where I believe this program can go. This is a dream for me to be the head coach of a Christian university in a great city like Nashville. My family and I are blessed and excited. My entire career as a coach has been to impact lives through basketball for Christ. I look forward to continuing that at Trevecca and in the Nashville community.”

Coach O comes to Trevecca from his alma mater, Rice University, where he served as an assistant coach during the 2017-2018 campaign. The year before, Mance served on the staff of Bryce Drew in his first season as the head coach of the Vanderbilt University men’s basketball team. The team garnered a 19-16 record and earned a trip to NCAA Tournament as a No. 9 seed in the West Region. The Commodores amassed five Top 25 RPI wins, six Top 50 wins and 11 Top 100 wins during the 206-2017 season, all while having the #1 strength of schedule in the nation.

At Liberty (2013-2016), Mance helped the Flames clinch a first-round bye in the 2016 Big South Championship, finishing 10-8 in conference play. It marked their first 10-win Big South campaign since the 2010-11 season. The Flames finished second in the conference in scoring defense, holding opponents to 68 points per game.

Before Liberty, Mance served three years as an assistant to Zach Spiker, head coach, at Army. Mance helped the Black Knights to its most successful Patriot League season (8-6) and its best overall regular season in 28 years (16-15). Army’s eight regular-season Patriot League wins marked a school record and first winning season in league history. The Black Knights also garnered Army’s first overall winning season since 1984-85.

During his tenure, he coached the Patriot League Rookie of the Year as well as three Patriot League all-rookie team members. The Black Knights also won the coveted “Star Game” against Navy in back-to-back seasons, becoming the first coaching staff to accomplish the feat since the Mike Krzyzewski (now Duke coach) era.

Early in his coaching career, Mance served as the recruiting coordinator and director of basketball operations at Rice. Mance helped land the Owls’ first Houston public school recruit in 40 years.

Mance started his coaching career as an assistant at Martin Luther King High School (Atlanta). His resume includes stints as head coach at North Shore Country Day (Ill.) and Joseph Sears School (Kenilworth, Ill.) athletic director.

While at Joseph Sears, Mance also helped found the Robison Mance Group (RMG Hoops), a company that worked with leagues, camps, and teams to provide mentoring services to more than 900 youth in the North Shore of Chicago.

The Stone Mountain, Ga., native played one year at LSU, finishing his career at Rice. Mance, a second-team All-WAC pick in 2003, was named the Owls’ MVP in 2002 and 2003. He is a two-time WAC All-Academic Team member and a recipient of Rice’s Bob Quin Award, an honor reserved for the university’s top male student-athlete.

A three-time all-state player at Lithonia High School, Mance was the 1998 Metro Atlanta and Georgia AAA Player of the Year. Lithonia’s all-time leading scorer graduated as valedictorian while playing for his father, legendary coach Eric Mance.

Mance earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Rice in 2003. He and his wife, Rebecca, have one son, Zion.


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