Lathe Cobb
Staff reporter

Matt O’Brien, head men’s basketball coach, will be going into his 11th season this year. Since the 09-10 season, when O’Brien started, men’s basketball has gone 206-108.

O’Brien has led the team to four straight KCAC tournament championship games.

He holds the title of All-Time Winningest Coach in Southwestern College history, 2018-19 KBCA Four-Year College Coach Of The Year, 2018 KCAC Coach of the year, and many more.

Coach O’Brien’s Achievements:

  • All-Time winningest coach in Southwestern College history
  • 2019 Kansas Basketball Coaches College Coach of the year
  • 2018 KCAC Coach of the year
  • Coached 2019 National Player of the Year
  • 10 straight winning seasons
  • 5 straight 20 win seasons
  • 2017-18 KCAC championship is the first Conference Championship since 2005-06
  • 27 wins in 2017-18 are the 2nd most wins in school history
  • Ranked as high as #6 in the nation
  • Led Builders to 4 straight KCAC tournament championship games
  • National Tournament Appearance 2 of the last 3 years
  • First-ever National Tournament win in school history
  • Back to Back Sweet 16 appearances
  • First-ever Sweet 16 in school history
  • Has coached 4 All-Americans
  • Has coached 27 All-Conference Selections
  • Has coached Southwestern’s All-Time leader in scoring and rebounding (Cameron Clark)
  • 2 time National Champion of Character Team
  • 7 Team Scholar awards
  • Was selected twice to represent the USA to coach internationally with overall 11-2 record
  • Led his team to a bronze medal in the 2018 United World Games

On what defines O’Brien, Tim Miser, associate head coach said, “Grit. Grit is just his passion, for longer than most people. The guys see it every day in practice, he has energy every single day.”

As a kid, O’Brien grew up in Brooklyn. He found his way to Conway Springs after his father retired from the NYPD. While playing for his high school basketball team, O’Brien received many awards including Most Valuable Player.

After high school, he committed to Friends University where he played basketball and majored in physical education. O’Brien went on to complete his masters in management in 2003.

“Everything from practice to the games is always positive. We have this thing called two positives per minute. Whether it’s saying good job or saying what someone did well,” said Lorenzo Martinez, senior forward.

O’Brien had many years of coaching under his belt before coming to Southwestern. He was the head coach at Central Christian College for three years and the assistant coach at Friends University for seven years.

He believes that being a coach means there is always a problem to solve. “Anytime there is adversity I try to attack, anytime there is a problem I am trying to find a way to overcome it.”