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COACHES

Brandon Curran
Head Coach

A veteran of coaching NCAA Division I, II, and junior college men’s basketball, Brandon Curran has been named the new head men’s basketball coach for East Texas Baptist University. Curran has made stops at Dallas Baptist University, Centenary College, Jacksonville College, and the University of Texas-Austin.

“How blessed we are at ETBU to have Brandon Curran serve as the new Head Coach for Tiger Basketball.  Coach Curran brings a wealth of experience from all levels of collegiate basketball.  He has enjoyed great success at the junior college, NCAA Division I and Division II levels,” says ETBU President Dr. J. Blair Blackburn. “Coach Curran possesses a passion to succeed.  I have known Brandon for over 10 years.  He has a heart for his players with a commitment to disciple student athletes into faithful men for Christ.   Discipleship will be the central focus of his program as he teaches and models what it means to be a champion for Christ on and off the court.”

Curran brings 18 years of college coaching to ETBU with his most recent stop at Dallas Baptist University. He has been the associate head coach the past 10 years and prior to that spent one year at Centenary College when they were NCAA Division I as the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach. At the junior college level, he was at Jacksonville College for six years and was the head coach and director of athletics for four years. He started his collegiate coaching career as a student-assistant at the University of Texas-Austin and also spent one year in the SW Pro League as an assistant coach for the Galveston Storm.

“Coach Curran knows talent and will capitalize on his strengths in recruiting to build upon ETBU's winning tradition.  His sites will be set on consistently taking ETBU to the national stage. We welcome Brandon and his wife Jennifer to the ETBU Family.  Jennifer will play a major role in supporting Brandon and will also serve part-time in ETBU's women's ministry,” says Blackburn.

Spending the last 10 years at Dallas Baptist University as the associate head coach, Curran leaves after the Patriots had one of their finest years in the program. DBU finished 23-9 after winning the Heartland Conference championship and making the NCAA Division II Tournament.

"We are excited to have Coach Curran join the Tiger family at East Texas Baptist University. He has been both a head coach and an assistant coach at the collegiate level and processes the knowledge, drive, and personality to be very successful at ETBU,” says ETBU Director of Athletics Kent Reeves.

With a strong recruiting background and developing athletes both physically and spiritually, Curran has helped grow and improve the programs he has been associated with. He will look to continue that at ETBU and build off of what Bert West has built up.

“I'm so appreciative to Dr. Blackburn and Kent Reeves for allowing me the opportunity to come to ETBU to serve as the new head coach for Tiger basketball! Coach West, Coach Prather and our current and former players have established ETBU as a consistent Top 25 national program and as the premiere NCAA Division III program in Texas. I'm excited to get to know our players and to continue building on the foundation that is already in place.  We want to continue to win at a high level. We want to continue each year to put ourselves in position to compete in the NCAA Tournament and to play for a national championship,” comments Curran.

Over the past 10 years at DBU, Curran has helped to produce 25 All-Heartland Conference awards through 13 players including a defensive player of the year, two newcomers of the year, and three freshmen of the year. Being a part of the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA), DBU had the one national player of the year, two All-Americans, and won the national championship in 2011 while being the national runners-up in 2015.

Coaching at the junior college level, Curran spent six years at Jacksonville College. He started out as the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach for three years before being promoted to the director of athletics and head men’s basketball coach. In that time, he had 27 players move onto NCAA Division I programs and 40 players that played at four-year programs. From 2000-04, he also led teams that tied the program record of most appearances in the NJCAA regional tournament. They were four-time quarter finalists and a semi-finalist in the region tournament during those six years.

His coaching career was started as a student-assistant at the University of Texas-Austin in 1996-97. In that year, the Longhorns advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

Through his 18 years of coaching, Curran has had the opportunity to develop his players spiritually and show them how to become leaders in life. He has also been on several mission trips to Honduras, South Korea, Chile, England, and Lithuania. Leading summer basketball camps, too, he has been a part of leading community engagement camps in inner city Dallas.

“Primarily we want to be about the growth of our players. We want them to leave here with their degree. We want to do everything we can to help them develop athletically into the best players that they can be. Most importantly though we want them to grow spiritually and to know all that they have and all that they are because of the person and work of Jesus,” says Curran. “Making an impact in the lives of young men for God's kingdom is of so much more value than any championships we may win.  I am committed to running a Christ-centered basketball program. I want to be intentional in building personal relationships with our players and sharing with them how God has changed my life and how he continues to grow me and shape me.  I want to help them see the world through the lens of truth. It's my prayer that the men in our program will grow in their love and knowledge of Christ during their time here and will go out and impact the world for God's glory.”

Curran will bring his wife, Jennifer, and three children, Emma (14), Quinn (3), and Greyson (2) to Marshall. He is a 1997 graduate of the University of Texas-Austin and has a Master’s of Business Administration from Dallas Baptist University (2009).

“I'm thankful that God has called me to ETBU.  As Dr. Blackburn says we have an incredible opportunity to be a light and a blessing to the city of Marshall. I'm looking forward to seeing how God can use Tiger Basketball to serve and minister to our city,” says Curran.

He is coming to an ETBU program that has won 47 games the past two years, won the ASC East Division title (2015-16) and ASC regular season and tournament championships (2014-15), advanced to the Elite Eight in 2015, and won 31 out of their last 32 games in Ornelas Gym. With eight players returning from these championship teams, Curran will have a strong foundation to continue the Tiger basketball tradition with.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING:

Del Harris
Former NBA Head Coach (Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers)

“Brandon is an exceptional person, basketball coach, and recruiter. He is knowledgeable man of basketball and has a good eye for talent. I think work ethic and character are the utmost important items in a coach and he majors in both.”

Blake Flickner
Dallas Baptist University Head Coach

“Brandon is a driven, competitive, brilliant leader of men. He has demonstrated excellence in all things and proven to have the special skills and work ethic needed to take a program to a higher level. He is an excellent recruiter and has a great eye for talent and has a special ability to build relationships and inspire others to follow him. He also has a brilliant mind for the game of basketball and understands the strategy of the game to lead his team. He knows how to mentor and train young men and is a firm disciplinarian and never hesitates to speak the truth. I have no doubt that Brandon will be a great head coach for ETBU.”

DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY (NCAA Division II) TEAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • 2 NCAA Tournament Appearances (2009 – second round, 2016-first round)
  • Heartland Conference Champions (2016)
  • NCCAA (National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association) National Champions (2013)
  • NCCAA National Runners-Up (2015)
  • NCCAA Regional Champions (2007, 2008, 2011, 2012)
  • Heartland Conference Team GPA Champions (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)
  • Led Heartland Conference in Scoring (2008, 2009, 2010, 2016)

DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY PLAYER ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • 2 Heartland Conference Newcomers of the Year (Nick Fox-2011, Joey Miller-2016)
  • 3 Heartland Conference Freshmen of the Year (2008, 2009, 2013)
  • 1 Heartland Conference Defensive Player of the Year (Shelby Lewis-2009)
  • 1 NABC All-Region Second Team selection (Nick Fox-2013)
  • 1 NCCAA National Player of the Year (Braxton Adamson)
  • 1 CoSIDA Academic All-American
  • 25 All-Heartland Conference Awards by 13 players

CENTENARY COLLEGE (NCAA Division I) PLAYER ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • 1 All-Summit League First-Team selection (Alexander Starr-2007)
  • 1 Summit League Defensive Player of the Year (Chase Adams – 2009)

JACKSONVILLE COLLEGE (NJCAA) TEAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Region XIV Semi-Finalists (2001)
  • Region XIV Quarter-Finalists (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004)
  • 27 NCAA Division I Signees
  • 40 Total Players Signed to Four-Year Colleges
  • Tied program record for consecutive appearances in regional tournament

JACKSONVILLE COLLEGE PLAYER ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • 13 All-Region XIV Post-Season Award Winners
  • 3 NJCAA All-Region Selections
  • 6 All-Region XVI selections
  • Produced Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year (Aaron Hogg – Wichita State – 2003)
  • Produced Missouri Valley Sixth Man of the Year (Aaron Hogg – Wichita State – 2003)
  • Produced All-Big West First Team Conference Player (Aaron Fitzgerald – 2006 – UC-Irvine)
  • Produced All-Southland Conference First-Team Player (Antonio Burks – 2004 – Stephen F. Austin)
  • Produced All-Southland Conference Third-Team Player (Jarvis Bradley – 2008 – McNeese State)

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS (NCAA Division I) TEAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • NCAA Division I Tournament Sweet (1997)

INTERNATIONAL MISSION TRIPS:

  • Traveled to – Honduras, South Korea, Chile, England, Lithuania
 

Jeremy Roman
Assistant Coach

Jeremy Roman enters his second season as an assistant coach under Brandon Curran.  This past summer he was promoted to the top assistant coach and now helps more with recruiting, daily practices, scouting, and travel.

Prior to coming to ETBU, Roman spent four years as an assistant coach at Mesilla Valley Christian School in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where they won the class 2A state championship twice. He served as head coach from 2014-2016.

During his tenure, he led his team to a 65-22 record, two district championships, three state tournament appearances, and won the 2015 3A State Championship. 

Roman was also the district ‘Coach of the Year’ for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons where he coached eight First-Team All-State selections, three Second-Team All-State selections, and the 2015 Class 3A Player of the Year.   

Before coaching, Roman played for York College during the 2008-2009 season.  He graduated high school from Mesilla Valley Christian School in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he was the class 2A Player of the Year in 2008.

Roman is a newlywed married to Jenna in September 2017 as they reside in Marshall, Texas.

 

Mitch Freeman
Assistant Coach/Head Developmental Coach

In his first year at ETBU under head coach Brandon Curran, Freeman has spent the past six seasons at Baylor University where he served as a student assistant for four years before being promoted to a graduate assistant coach for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. As a graduate assistant coach, Freeman helped Baylor reach the Sweet 16 during the 2017 season and to a NIT appearance in 2018.  His primary responsibilities included assisting with scouting (including breakdowns of opposing personnel and opponent's offensive and defensive schemes) and player development.  He also had a major role developing graphic media content for the team and recruits. 
 
During his tenure as a student assistant, Baylor won an NIT Championship in 2013, reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2014, and made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2015 and 2016.  He graduated from Baylor with a BA in Communication Studies (2016) and MS.Ed. in Sports Management (2018).  
 
Freeman played his prep career at Prestonwood Christian Academy.  As a player he helped lead PCA to TAPPS 5A State Championships in 2010 and 2012 and a State Runners Up in 2011.
 
"I am so excited to welcome Mitch to our ETBU Basketball Family.  He picked up so many good things from his time at PCA and Baylor and brings a lot of valuable skills and new ideas to our program.  As a graduate assistant, he was able to learn from some of the best player development coaches in the nation.  Most importantly Coach Freeman sees coaching as a ministry and aligns with our mission to love and grow the young men in our program.  He is going to do an outstanding job leading our developmental program and will be a huge addition to our varsity staff as well.  We can't wait for him to get here this summer," says Curran.