ORU NAMES CUSSEN HEAD WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACH
Long-time assistant coach Misti Cussen has been named the 10th head women’s basketball coach, Oral Roberts President Dr. Mark Rutland and Director of Athletics Mike Carter announced at a press conference Friday morning.
"I am very grateful to Mr. Carter and Dr. Rutland for this opportunity, and I can't wait to begin this new chapter as the head coach at ORU,” said Cussen. “I love this University, and I am thrilled to continue coaching at a place where I have spent so many great years. I am also excited to continue working with such an outstanding group of young women, and I look forward to continued success in the future."
Cussen has been on the ORU bench for the last 16 seasons as the top assistant coach, ranking as one of the nation’s longest-tenured assistant coaches at one school. She also served as the director of operations and the summer camp director.
“Misti Cussen is the right coach for this program,” said Carter. “She has all the attributes we look for in a coach for our women’s basketball team. She is an outstanding recruiter with strong ties in Oklahoma and Texas and has been a vital part of our team for the last 16 years. Misti has demonstrated her ability to lead the program and to build upon the successes that we have enjoyed these past many seasons. We are excited to add Misti to our group of outstanding head coaches at ORU.”
As a player, Cussen began her collegiate career at the University of Kansas (1989-91) before transferring to Southern Nazarene to finish her final two years. Cussen joined the SNU staff in the spring of 1996.
During the summer of 2006, Cussen had the opportunity to serve as a head coach for Athletes in Action, as she took a team of current and former college players on a month-long tour of India. During their stay, the team played in various exhibition contests against local universities, while also taking the time to volunteer in other humanitarian relief efforts. Always the fierce competitor, Cussen even played the part of player/coach when the team needed extra help in the post.
With the success she enjoyed as a post player in college, Cussen is able to provide hands on instruction to the Golden Eagles from her own experiences. Not only does she show the players the necessary skills to be a serious competitor on the Division I level, but her strong worth ethic and continuous contagious enthusiasm is the perfect fit for ORU’s brand of championship basketball.
Cussen received her Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication from SNU in 1993 before earning a master of arts in communication education from there in 1994.
She also spent two years working full-time for the state’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ staff. An Oklahoma native, Cussen prepped at El Reno High School where she was an All-State selection, named to the Super Five team, and the FCA Female Athlete of the Year. Misti and her husband, Kyle, currently live in Broken Arrow with their two children, Cassie (8) and Caia (4).
The Golden Eagles return three starters from last year’s WNIT squad, including Jaci Bigham and Kevi Luper, who is the all-time leader in ORU history in both scoring and steals.