Oklahoma State University introduced Travis Ford as the new Cowboys' head basketball coach Thursday afternoon.
The former UMass coach said he met with his players in Massachusetts on Wednesday where he told the players OSU was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
"My goal is to win a national championship and I think I can do that at Oklahoma State," said Travis Ford.
Ford led UMass to the NIT championship game this past season, where the team lost to Ohio State.
OSU was without a basketball coach after Sean Sutton resigned April 1. Under Sutton, the Cowboys failed to reach the NCAA tournament in 2007 and 2008.
Ford has a record of 62-35 in three seasons at UMass.
OSU had originally pursued Kansas coach Bill Self, but Self withdrew his name from consideration earlier this month.
News release from OSU...
Travis Ford Named Oklahoma State Head Basketball Coach
STILLWATER - Travis Ford, who led turnarounds at three different schools, has been named head men's basketball coach at Oklahoma State University, athletic director Mike Holder has announced.
Ford will officially be introduced at a Thursday afternoon news conference in the OSU Athletics Center.
Ford becomes the 18th basketball coach in OSU history and just the ninth since 1934 when Henry P. Iba accepted the post.
Ford arrives in Stillwater after three seasons as head coach at the University of Massachusetts. The University of Kentucky graduate was 62-35 in three seasons at UMass. His career at the Amherst school began with a 13-15 record in 2005-2006. However, over the last two seasons the Minutemen went 49-20 with an Atlantic 10 regular-season co-championship (2007) and a runner-up finish in the 2008 National Invitation Tournament. On their way to the NIT championship game, the Minutemen picked up a road win at Syracuse (their second of the season at Syracuse), and knocked off two-time national champion Florida in the NIT semifinals, 78-66.
Prior to Massachusetts, Ford spent five seasons turning around the program at Eastern Kentucky. He guided the Colonels from a 7-19 start in his first season to a 22-9 record in his final year, including an Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship and EKU's first NCAA Tournament appearance in more than 25 years. In the 2005 NCAA Tournament, EKU was a narrow (72-64) first-round loser against Kentucky.
Ford began his coaching career at Campbellsville (KY.) University, where he was 67-31 in three seasons at the NAIA school. Included in that total is a 28-3 record during the 1998-99 season when he was named conference coach of the year.
Ford attended North Hopkins High School in Madisonville, Ky. He began his collegiate playing career at the University of Missouri (1989-90) before transferring to Kentucky. In Lexington, he was an all-SEC first-team selection, the most valuable player of the NCAA Tournament's Southeast Regional in 1993 and a three-time SEC all-academic pick.
He and his wife, Heather, have three children.
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4/1/2008 Sutton Out At Oklahoma State