CIRCLEVILLE, OH - Matt Futch has been named the new head women's basketball coach at Ohio Christian University. Futch, a University of Akron graduate, was selected from a talented pool of candidates following an extensive search by the University. Futch comes to OCU after serving for two years on the staff of the men's basketball program at the University of Akron under head coach Keith Dambrot.
While on the staff at Akron, he helped lead the Zips to two MAC Championships, a MAC Conference Tournament Title, and an NCAA Tournament Appearance in 2013.
Futch will take over an established OCU program that has reached the NCCAA National Tournament each of the last four seasons, including a National Runner-Up finish in 2010. OCU believes that Futch will continue the winning tradition of women's basketball at OCU.
"Coach Mandy Wray built a great program foundation here at OCU, of which we are very proud," says Dr Mark Smith, President of Ohio Christian University. "Coach Futch brings the expertise and understanding needed to continue OCU's great basketball tradition."
Coach Futch is a product of Ohio and brings a numerous connections with coaches and players from across the state. A standout player at Akron's Butchel High School, he averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks as a senior, leading his team to a 17-6 record. He earned all-state honors as a junior and senior while earning a nomination for the McDonald's All-America team as a senior.
In three seasons for the Zips from 2003-06, Futch was a force in the paint, appearing in 86 career games. Prior to working on the staff for the Zips, Futch had the opportunity of playing professional basketball internationally. He played professionally in 2006 and 2007 with stints in both Portugal and Mexico. A 2010 graduate of The University of Akron, Futch earned his BA in sports management as well as a masters degree in sports administration in 2012.
"With Coach Matt Futch at the helm, OCU is delighted to continue building on a tradition that not only seeks to win, but to instill character and Christian values within each of our athletes,” says OCU’s Rick Christman, Vice President of Student Development and Athletics.
Matt has been actively involved and committed to his local community as well as the Akron church community. As co-founder of the Returning the Favor Foundation, he been able help people within the community find jobs, education opportunities, health & fitness, and to create stronger families. He is an active member of Team J.A.M which is an organization that ministers the biblical message of Christ to athletes.
"We sought out an individual who could impact our athletes for Christ and also create a vibrant team culture," states OCU Athletic Director Ben Belleman. "Matt is exactly the kind of person we were looking for in a basketball coach."
Futch is looking forward to getting started at OCU. "I'm extremely happy to be a part of a University that holds the same morals and values that I do as a Christian," said Futch. "We also share a similar vision as far as excellence and having the desire to help young people succeed. I thank God for this great opportunity and I am eager to get started."
Coach Futch has a clear vision of what he hopes to accomplish as head coach. "My goal is that our team will embrace the true meaning of what it means to 'be a Trailblazer' and that extraordinary success will soon become ordinary."
The Lady Trailblazers will be seeking their first-ever Regional and National Championships during the upcoming 2013-14 season. Coach Futch will make his coaching debut at home on Thursday, October 31st as OCU hosts Ohio University-Lancaster at 5:30 PM as part of the annual Think Pink Classic.