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JSU basketball set to hire Ray Harper

Harper's resume includes 431 wins and four national championships (abc3340.com)

Jacksonville State has hired a basketball coach with a resume full of wins.

JSU will introduce Ray Harper as it's new men's basketball coach Thursday morning. Harper has 431 wins in 17 seasons as a college head coach, including four national championships - two at the Division II level and two in NAIA.

"We are thrilled to have Ray Harper take over our men's basketball program," Gamecocks athletic director Greg Seitz said. "He is a winner and has proven that at every stop he has made in his coaching career. We feel fortunate to be able to land a coach with his credentials at Jacksonville State."

Harper spent the last five seasons at Western Kentucky, coaching the Hilltoppers to three 20-win seasons and two trips to the NCAA Tournament. That success followed the championship tradition he laid at Kentucky Wesleyan and Oklahoma City. In nine seasons at Kentucky Wesleyan (1996-2005), Harper won two NCAA Division II national championships (1999, 2001).

He took over the basketball program at Oklahoma City University in 2005 and led the Stars to two NAIA national championships in three seasons (2007, 2008).

"I'm excited about the opportunity," Harper said. "We are going to work extremely hard and we are going to be about winning championships. We know it's going to be a lot of work, but we are ready to get started."

Harper's head coaching resume includes four national championships, five national runner-up finishes, ten conference titles and five national coach-of-the-year honors.

Harper is scheduled to be introduced as the 11th head coach in the history of the Jacksonville State men's basketball program on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

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**Courtesy of JSU Athletic Communications**

THE HARPER FILE

Wife: Shannon

Born: October 11, 1961, Bremen, Ky.

High School: Bremen, Bremen, Ky., 1980

High School Athletics: Basketball, guard, four letters (first-team all-state, two-time district player of the year)

College: Texas: 1981-82, Kentucky Wesleyan: 1983-85 (Bachelor of Science)

College Athletics: Basketball, guard, two letters at Texas (1981-82), two letters at Kentucky Wesleyan (1984-85); 1981 Southwest Conference Rookie of the Year, 1985 third-team All-American, 1985 all-conference

Coaching Experience:

VCU, graduate assistant, 1986

Kentucky Wesleyan, assistant coach, 1987-90

Kentucky Wesleyan, associate head coach, 1991-96

Kentucky Wesleyan, head coach, 235-66 record from 1997-2005 (1999, 2001 NCAA Division II National Championships)

Oklahoma City, head coach, 95-17 record from 2006-08 (2007, 2008 NAIA Division I National Championships)

WKU, assistant coach, 2009-12

WKU, interim head coach, 2012

WKU, head coach, 89-64 record from 2012-16

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