Southern Miss men’s basketball head coach Doc Sadler has announced the addition of Steve Shields to his staff as an assistant coach. Shields will replace Dr. Chris Croft who will become an assistant Professor in Sport Management in the College of Business on campus.
“We’re excited to add someone with the experience that Steve has,” Sadler said. “I’ve known Steve for more than 25 years and he will bring a lot to our table.”
Shields boasts nearly 30 years of collegiate coaching on his resume, including the distinction of being Little Rock’s all-time winningest coach. He led the Trojans to the 2011 NCAA Tournament and helped the program win five Sun Belt Conference divisional titles during his 12 years as head coach.
“I’m excited to be here and be part of Doc’s staff,” Shields said. “I’ve known Doc a long time and I’ve always respected him very much. He’s a heck of a coach and I can’t wait to get started with this program.”
Shields has since served as an assistant on the Missouri staff for the previous two seasons (2015-17).
Highly experienced in the day-to-day operation of a Division I men’s basketball program, Shields spent 15 seasons overall at UALR. He moved up to lead the program after three seasons (2000-03) as an assistant coach. Shields helped the Trojans snap a 21-year NCAA Tournament drought by guiding the squad to the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship.
A program architect much like Anderson, Shields oversaw a winning program on and off the court at UALR. The Trojans posted a 192-178 (.519) record, including just the second and third 20-win seasons of the Sun Belt era for UALR (1991-present). Shields also coached two Sun Belt Male Student-Athletes of the Year.
Following a 4-24 season for UALR in 1999-2000, Shields entered the picture as an assistant coach on Porter Moser’s staff. UALR put together three-straight 18-win seasons from 2000-01 to 2002-03. Shields took the reins of the program beginning with the 2003-04 season and promptly won Sun Belt Coach of the Year recognition, all while not returning a single starter from the previous season’s squad.
Shields won two-straight Sun Belt East Division titles to start his tenure at UALR (2003-04, 2004-05). UALR accomplished the feat again in the Sun Belt’s West Division from 2007-08 to 2008-09. Shields’ 2008-09 squad claimed 15 wins in conference action, the most by a UALR team since the school’s 1987-88 team also won 15 in the Trans America Athletic Conference.
Following UALR’s Sun Belt Tournament championship run and ensuing NCAA Tournament berth in 2010-11, Shields helped bring a fifth conference divisional title back to Little Rock after his group posted a 12-4 mark in Sun Belt action during the 2011-12 campaign.
Shields came to UALR after a successful run at McLennan Community College in Texas from 1996-2000, earning Texas Junior College Coach of the Year in 1998. Shields built up coaching experience in the junior college ranks throughout the 1990s, serving as an assistant coach at McLennan (1990-93), Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College (1993-94) and Kilgore (Texas) Junior College (1995-96).
Shields is a graduate of Baylor University in 1988 with a bachelor’s of science in education and again in 1992 with a master’s in education. He has one son, Hayden, and one daughter, Halle. Shields and his wife, Kenda, were married in 2012. She is the mother of two children, Hayden Jennings Ford and Madison Leigh Ford.