WAXAHACHIE — Southwestern Assemblies of God University named Delton Deal as the replacement for former Head Basketball Coach Donnie Bostwick, according to information released on Wednesday night.
Bostwick, the Lions' all-time winningest basketball coach, resigned from his position on July 6. He cited family as the reason for his departure and eventual acceptance of the head coaching position at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
"It's not going to be the easiest transition in the world because Donnie's such a good coach and man and because of his spiritual impact. I'm going to do what I've done at every job that I have had — let the Lord lead me," Deal said about stepping into the Bostwick's well-established shoes.
Deal led Nebraska's York College Panthers to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II Tournament three times in seven years. In 2016, the Panthers made it to the Elite 8 in the National Tournament.
"It's always been a dream for me to come back to the Metroplex," he continued. "I've been gone for eight years now. It's never fun to have to leave home for work but [York College] did nothing but treat my family and me well. There's nothing like coming home, though."
Deal said both the program's recent success as well as its spiritual affiliation lured him away from Nebraska and back into the hands of the Lone Star State.
While outside of the Texas, though, he was responsible for a program turnaround. Deal's results weren't unlike what his predecessor accomplished after his arrival in Waxahachie.
The Panthers finished the 2017 season 25-10 overall and 17-5 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and the NAIA National Championships Division II second round.
Before Deal's arrival in 2010, York College had only one winning season in school history. After, Deal took it to seven consecutive.
“We believe Coach Deal is the perfect leader to take over for the Lions,” said Terry Phipps, SAGU's vice-president of student development, in the press release. “Deal has had success at both the high school and college levels. Coach Bostwick left big shoes to fill and we believe Coach Deal can continue to grow the SAGU men’s basketball program for years to come.”
Jesse Godding, the university's athletic director, called the Deal taking the reins of a perennial contender in the Sooner Athletic Conference kismet — despite its highly competitive nature.
"Coach Deal will serve our players and institution well as a leader who is intentional about spiritual formation.," Godding stated. "He is also a coach who has demonstrated a capacity to compete at a high level and has the recommendation and respect of his peers and former players. I am excited for our players and look forward to the impact Coach Deal will have on our team and campus as we step into a new era of SAGU men’s basketball."
Before coaching at York, the Lions' new sideline leader led Bethesda Christian High School in Fort Worth 97-28 overall record in four years. He also won a TAPPS 3A State Championship and was named Coach of the Year in 2007.
Deal inherits a team that went 24-10 overall and 12-6 in the SAC last season, reached the third round of the NAIA tournament for the third consecutive year and returns all but two players from its roster. Midlothian High School alumnus Lance Tipton, whose deep 3-point range made an impact during last season's NAIA playoffs, is the only Ellis County player on the roster.
SAGU made the playoffs five out of the last six seasons under Bostwick — including the National Championship game in 2013.
"There will be a few differences, for sure, but there will be a lot of similarities," Deal said. |I know him well. [Bostwick] actually coached in my league when I first got to York and his team's play fast like mine. We were second in the nation in total points last year, were top five in steals during the last four years and were in the top 10 or 15 in offensive rebounding each year. We'll probably shoot fewer threes and go to the post more, but it's going to be a pretty similar style — run-and-gun offense and pressure defense."
Marcus S. Marion, @MarcusMarionWNI