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Mills Selected to Lead Shocker Hoops Program

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By Wichita State Athletics

 

WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State will introduce Paul Mills as its 27th head men’s basketball coach at 3:30 p.m. Thursday inside Charles Koch Arena. This event is free and open to the public with streaming available live and on-demand via ESPN+.

“My family and I are extremely excited about being a part of Wichita State University,” Mills said. “The rich history, winning tradition and unbelievable community support will keep us working on behalf of the GREATEST fans in all of college basketball.  We can’t wait!”

Mills has spent the past six years rebuilding the program at Oral Roberts (2017-23), earning bids to two of the last three NCAA tournaments.

In 2021 Mills became just the second coach in history to guide a No. 15 seed to the Sweet 16, upsetting Ohio State and Florida in the first two rounds.

This past season he coached ORU to a 30-5 record, an undefeated run through the Summit League (18-0) and a No. 12 seed in the Big Dance.

Mills is currently a finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award as well as the NABC’s Skip Prosser Man of the Year honor, presented annually to a coach who achieves success on the basketball court and displays moral integrity off of it.

“Paul Mills’ heart for people, passion for life and approach to the development of young people and programs is energizing,” WSU Director of Athletics Kevin Saal said. “He aligns with Shocker Athletics’ core values, facilitates a first-class student-athlete experience and fuels broad-based competitive excellence. We are thrilled to welcome the Mills family – Paul, Wendy, Audrey and Abbey – to Wichita, Wichita State University and Shocker Nation!”

“We are looking forward to the next chapter of WSU basketball under Paul Mills’ leadership,” WSU President Dr. Richard Muma said. “He’s fully aligned with our priorities, which includes creating success for our student athletes and a winning culture for all of Shocker Nation.”

Mills’ teams play an exciting brand of basketball, annually ranking among the NCAA leaders in scoring and three-point field goals while playing tough, gritty defense.

Over the years Mills has also demonstrated a knack for finding and developing talent. His greatest success story is 6-foot guard Max Abmas, an overlooked recruit, turned NBA prospect who scored more than 2,500 career points in Mills’ system and was twice named Summit League Player of the Year.

Prior to ORU, Mills spent 14 seasons on staff at Baylor under head coach Scott Drew, the last eight as assistant coach during which he helped the Bears to six NCAA tournaments, tallying four Sweet 16 and two Elite Eight appearances, as well as the 2013 NIT title.

Mills, age 50, graduated from Texas A&M in 1996 with a degree in finance and completed a Master of Biblical and Theological Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary in the summer of 2020.

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