Ryan Wall has completed his third year as head coach for the OLLU men's basketball team.
The Saints completed their seventh season with a historic NAIA Elite 8 finish. The team earned a No. 7 at-large bid to nationals after being ranked in the NAIA Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll throughout the season. OLLU defeated No. 4-ranked Freed-Hardeman University 87-81 in the opening round. They went on to eliminate the tournament's top-seed Lewis-Clark State College 83-64 to advance to the Elite 8 -- the first OLLU team to reach that milestone. The Saints lost to No. 3-seed MidAmerica Nazarene 82-95 to end their season with an overall 22-9 record.
In the Red River Athletic Conference, the Saints lost to Langston University in the semifinals 65-71. Their final conference record was 13-5.
Upon the conclusion of the season, the Saints were ranked No. 18 in the Top 25 poll. They reached a high of 15th on Feb. 23, and then climbed to No. 13 in the Postseason Top 25 poll. They were ranked first in turnover margin and in the top 10 in steals and 3-pointers, and in the top 20 in scoring margin, scoring offense, blocks, offensive rebounds and free-throw percentage. Saints sophomore Joe Jackson, who was named an NAIA All-American and to the NAIA All-Tournament Team, was ranked second in total blocks, and in the top 10 in blocks per game, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, total rebounds per game and field goal percentage. Jackson received the conference's Newcomer of the Year award.
Senior Christian Wood-Dvorak excelled both on the court and in the classroom, as well. He earned Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete and RRAC Scholar Athlete awards, and was named the University's Big Blue Top Saint of 2015-2016.
Receiving All-Conference honors were Jackson, Darion Brown, Wood-Dvorak and Olajuwon Garner. Both Jackson and Garner received RRAC All-Tournament awards, as well.
In 2014-2015, the Saints posted records of 25-6 overall and 17-3 in conference. After finishing the regular season as the conference co-champs, the Saints went on to the tournament championship, where they lost to LSU-Alexandria in overtime 76-75. OLLU earned a spot in the NAIA DI Men's Basketball National Championship Tournament -- their second trip to nationals. In 2012, the men made it to the Sweet 16 round, where they also finished this season. They defeated Columbia College in the first round 74-68 and lost to Talladega College 79-70.
Through the end of the 2014-2015 season, the Saints earned No. 1 rankings in steals/game (14.032), turnover margin (6.677) and total steals (435); top 5 rankings in assists/game (17.581), scoring offense/game (87.516) and total assists (545); top 10 rankings in scoring margin (13.774) and offensive rebounds/game (14.484); and top 20 rankings in total scoring offense (2713), total rebounds/game (40.613), total rebound margin (4.097), total blocks (113), field goal pct. (.467) and total rebound offense (1259).
During that past season, Wall's players received numerous awards and recognition, including: De'Quentin Greer -- All-Conference First Team, All Tournament; Daniel Skinner -- All-Conference First Team, All-Tournament, NAIA All-American Honorable Mention; and Christian Wood-Dvorak -- Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete, NAIA Champions of Character.
The Saints finished the 2013-2014 season under Wall with an overall record of 21-11 and 14-4 in the Red River Athletic Conference. They ended their season in the semifinals round of the conference tournament. Wall led the team to the following accomplishments: First in the NAIA in scoring offense/game (100.125), 3-pointers/game (13.031), assists/game (19.781), offensive rebounds/game (17), steals/game (14.406), total 3-pointers made (417), turnover margin (9.844) and total steals (461); Second in the NAIA in total assists (633); Third in the NAIA in total scoring offense (3204); Sixth in the NAIA in assist/turnover ratio (1.292); and Eighth in the NAIA in scoring margin (13.594).
Under Wall, his 2013-2014 player Xavier Roberson led the NAIA in total scoring (803), points/game (25.1) -- the most in Saints history, 3-pointers/game (4.750) and total 3-pointers (152). Marcus Thompson led the NAIA in steals/game (4.094) and total steals. He was third in total assists (201), fourth in assists/game (6.281) and in assist/turnover ratio (3.190). And, De'Quentin Greer ranked third in the NAIA in field goal percentage (.605).
Five of Wall's players -- Xavier Roberson, Marcus Thompson, De’Quentin Greer, Brock Hunter and Christian Wood-Dvorak -- received All-Conference honors, while two -- Roberson and Wood-Dvorak -- received All-Tournament honors. Thompson broke the NAIA record for most steals in a game with 15. He was named Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while Roberson was named Co-Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year in the Red River Conference. Five of his players received Conference Scholar awards, as well.
In addition, Roberson received NAIA All-American Second Team honors and was runner-up in the NAIA's inaugural 3-Point Contest. He also played for the winning NAIA All-Star Team.
Wall came to OLLU from Ranger College, where he was the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Under head coach, Larry Brown, Ranger College won the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference in 2012 – the first time in more than 40 years.
Prior to Ranger, Wall was the graduate assistant for the University of South Alabama men's basketball team. While here, he mentored future OLLU standout Roberson, who became only the second Saint to earn NAIA All-American honors. Roberson became the Saints' all-time leading scorer and was the runner-up in the NAIA's 3-Point Shooting Contest and a member of the winning inaugural all-star team.
In high school, Wall played on the Coppell varsity team for four years -- the team lost just one district game in those four years. He received the following honors: District 6-5A All-State Basketball (two years), District 6-5A All District Basketball (four years), District 6-5A All District MVP (three years), District 6-5A Basketball Champions (four years) and McDonalds Pre-Season All American Basketball (2003). Wall spent two years at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he played on the Mountain West Conference Championship Team. The team lost to Villanova in the first round of the NCAA tournament during his sophomore year.
Wall received a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's degree in education administration from Texas Christian University. While at TCU, Wall was a standout point guard on the Horned Frogs squad. He led the team in steals and in free throw percentage. He also excelled in academics and was named to the All-Mountain West Conference Academics Team.
Wall is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. Early in July 2014, Wall married Krysti Waller, and they are expecting their first child in November 2016.
Robert Ford completed his first season as the Our Lady of the Lake University Men's Basketball assistant coach. Ford joined the coaching staff after spending one season as assistant coach at Paris Junior College (PJC).
He helped guide PJC to a NJCAA Region XIV Tournament appearance for the 16th consecutive season.
Prior to PJC, Ford was an assistant coach for the Neosho County Community College (NCCC) in Chanute, Kansas, where he helped guide the team to a 21-11 overall record in 2013-2014. The Panthers reached the NJCAA Region VI Tournament second round for the first time in eight years.
Ford also spent two seasons at NCAA Division II Texas A&M University-Commerce reaching the Lone Star Conference tournament in both seasons.
Ford began his coaching career at the high school level at Grand Rapids Christian High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as an assistant for the boys’ varsity basketball team. He also served as the head coach for the junior varsity team.
As a player, Ford played for NCAA Division I Easter Michigan University (EMU) from 2005-2007 before transferring to the University of South Alabama (USA) for his final two seasons. Ford was the starting guard for USA in 2007 in which the team set a school record of 26 wins in a season on its way to a Sun Belt Conference regular season championship and an at large bid to the NCAA Division I Tournament.
As a starting guard, Ford shot 35 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the free-throw line.
Ford earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from EMU and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration. In July 2016, Ford married Annette Nicole.
William Eric Bell joined the staff of Our Lady of the Lake University's men's basketball team in 2010 as graduate assistant. He has an Associate of Applied Sciences in Computer Animation from the Art Institute of Houston and a Bachelor of Arts from Thomas Edison State College.
His previous coaching experience includes three years as head coach with the MBLP-Austin Chapter; one year as head coach for semi-pro SBL/XBL's R.R. Roughriders/Austin Cyclones; three years as athletic director and head coach for Shoreline Christian School (boys basketball and football); two years as vice president and head coach of AAU CTX Heat junior high and high school boys teams; one year as an assistant coach with Summit Christian Academy; and three years as assistant coach with Huston-Tillotson University (HTU). Bell has accumulated a 76 percent winning percentage and has won several championships.
As an assistant at HTU, he coached several NAIA All-Americans and All-Conference players. He also helped multiple players continue their careers in the NBA Development League as well as ABA and other international leagues.
Since coming to OLLU, Bell has been a part of the Saints' success including three Red River Athletic Conference Championships, two NAIA National Tournament Sweet 16 and one Elite 8 appearances. During this time, OLLU has become one of the top basketball programs in the NAIA and holds top rankings in the RRAC in many categories including: scoring, steals, assists, forced turnovers, and offensive rebounds. He has also assisted Saints players become leaders in scoring, assists and steals in the NAIA and RRAC. Several players have been named NAIA All-Americans and All-Conference, some have been able to continue play beyond our borders.
Bell has always been a part of winning programs across Texas and helping young men continue their education while playing basketball at a high level.
Bell is a native of San Antonio, where he attended L.B. Johnson Elementary School, three miles from OLLU. He later moved to Austin and played varsity basketball at McCallum High School. He played one year in college and one year in SBL/XBL.
Bell now lives in Hutto, Texas. He and his wife Kimberley are parents of four children; Kourtney, Gary, Kimani Jewel, and Kingston Jacob.