CHRIS DIAL joins the staff as head basketball coach for the men's team. Dial was born and raised in San Antonio, where he attended East Central High School, and where he coached basketball at St. Gerard Catholic High School and McCollum High School, as well as John Paul II Catholic High School in Schertz and New Braunfels High School.
Dial is the founder of The Basketball Embassy (TBE), a multinational, nonprofit organization that builds community through basketball and assists National Basketball Federations as well as other organizations in their quest to grow and develop the game of basketball in their country or region. Dial established TBE in 2014 as a way to promote a fundamental brand of basketball intertwined with intangible elements like dedication, hard work, integrity and education in an effort to produce ambassadors of the game.
OLLU has been a partner with TBE since 2016 and recently hosted Assembly 2018, a weeklong event that brought elite youth female and male athletes ages 15-17 to campus. Campers are specially invited with the majority being international student-athletes and about 60 from the United States. Aside from on-court practice and training sessions, the campers had the opportunity to be seen by more than 20 NCAA, NAIA and Junior College coaches.
Also, Dial has been the program director for the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Europe U14 Development Project in Southeastern Europe. FIBA Europe pioneered in concept a program that would simultaneously raise the level of basketball in four countries, using a fifth more established country as a source of guidance and support. Players involved are from Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Kosovo, with Turkey playing the "Big Brother" role.
Dial also has been heavily involved with the Swedish Basketball Federation in Stockholm. He has assisted with basketball lecturers, clinics, game observations and exchange in efforts to develop their programs.
The Admirals Basketball Academy (ABA) in Chisinau, Moldova, and the Macedonia Basketball Federation (MBF) in Skopje, Macedonia, have also been among Dials main projects prior to coming to OLLU. He has been the head coach and camp and clinic director for ABA for more than a year. The organization is funded by the U.S. State Department under the direction of the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau. With the MBF, Dial has been the coaching coordinator and adviser. He has placed several highly qualified American coaches in their system for the summer allowing them to coach and mentor the players and the assistant coaches in their national team system.
Dial's other career positions include the Kosovo Basketball Federation Coordinator of Youth National Teams (U16/U18) Head Coach; Bulgarian Basketball Federation Mentor Coach/Adviser for the Youth National Teams; Turkish Basketball Federation Head Coach, Camp and Clinic Director; Romanian Basketball Federation Head Coach, Camp and Clinic Director; International Basketball Federation Head Coach and Camp Director; Northern Cyprus Basketball Federation Head Coach, Camp and Clinic Director; and Sports For Life in Palestine/Israel Head Coach, Camp and Clinic Director.
Dial has made it a priority to be actively involved in the community. He initiated and created basketball programming for homeless facilities in San Antonio like Haven for Hope and SAMM Ministries. He plans to continue those efforts as part of the OLLU staff.
Dial received a degree in political science and psychology from Texas Lutheran University, where he played on the basketball team. He later attended Texas State University, where he completed a master's program in international studies. He and his wife Brittany are the parents of one son, JT.
DUSTIN KARRER has joined the men's basketball staff and assistant coach. He was born and raised in New Braunfels, Texas. He attended Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and graduated with degrees in kinesiology and history.
While at Texas State, Karrer coached an AAU team to a West Coast National Championship in Las Vegas. Of his 18 players that went through his team, 11 went on to play sports collegiately.
Karrer began his head coaching career at the age of 20 and has been a head basketball coach in the San Antonio area since. Karrer started his career coaching at John Paul II Catholic High School in Schertz, Texas, as the head women’s coach from 2010-2012. In the team's second year of existence as a program, they won 20 games and made it to area playoffs recording the school’s first-ever team playoff win.
From 2012-2015, Karrer was the head men’s basketball coach and athletic director of New Braunfels Christian Academy, where the team went to two regional championships and won one district championship. Karrer spent 2016-2017 at Our Lady of the Hills Regional Catholic School in Kerrville, Texas, working with both the boys' and girls' program and helped lead the girls to a 20-win season and assisted the boys to a state championship. Most recently he worked at Great Hearts Monte Vista directing the high school varsity boys’ basketball program.
Karrer has worked with The Basketball Embassy for the last four years domestically as well as abroad in Kosovo, Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria and Macedonia helping facilitate camps and clinics for these countries’ basketball federations. His work with The Basketball Embassy gave him the opportunity to help establish a youth national team program in Kosovo, FIBA's 215th member country. From the spring of 2015 to the fall of 2016, Karrer was head coach of a men's senior team in the first division of the Kosovo Super League as well as assisting for two years on the U16 Kosovo National Team in the European Championships. During that time, Kosovo claimed a silver medal in the FIBA European Championship Division C tournament as well as a surprise 14th place finish in an extremely competitive B-Division European Championship in 2016.
Aaron Tavitas has joined the OLLU men's basketball coaching staff as an assistant coach.
For two seasons Tavitas was Women's Basketball Head Coach at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. He led his squad to the most wins in four years.
Tavitas earned a bachelor's degree in Telecommunications from Texas Tech University. He went on to coach both boys' and girls' basketball teams at his alma mater, St. Gerard High School in San Antonio, before becoming head coach and assistant coordinator of student leadership at San Antonio College (SAC).
A native of San Antonio, Tavitas was a forward for St. Gerard, and he led the team to the Texas Catholic Interscholastic League (TCIL) championship. He also played football and was a defensive back at Texas A&M University - Kingsville for two seasons before an injury ended his playing career.
At SAC, he served as the men’s basketball head coach for three years. His 2008-2009 team went 24-4 overall and 11-1 in conference play, and Tavitas was named Coach of the Year as his team won both the conference regular season and tournament championships. The next season, SAC was 23-4 overall and 11-2 in conference play, and his team finished as the conference runner-up. In two seasons, his teams earned seven All-Conference berths and sent four players on to play at NCAA and NAIA universities.
Tavitas then served as a graduate assistant for the 2010-2011 Sul Ross State University men’s basketball team under former head coach Greg Wright, earning a master’s degree in Physical Education.
He moved on to Canutillo High School in El Paso, serving as the boys’ basketball assistant coach. Canutillo advanced to the area championship for only the second time in school history, while the junior varsity team went 63-15 in the last three seasons.
BJ Alzaid has joined the men's basketball coaching staff as an assistant coach. He will primary responsibility be recruiting.
Alzaid has 11 years of experience coaching at the collegiate level. He began his coaching career at Temple Junior College in Temple, Texas from 2002-2004. He helped Kirby Johnson’s teams advance to the post season both years. Alzaid joined Stan Bonewitz at Concordia University in the 2007-2008 season and was the recruiting coordinator from 2008-2014, guiding the program’s first-ever NCAA postseason victory. The team captured one league championship and made three conference tournament title game appearances. Forty players earned all-conference honors, and two have tabbed American Southwest Conference (ASC) West Division Players of the Year (Brad Walker, 2010; Dwayne Patterson, 2013). Additionally, two players earned ASC West Division Freshman of the Year awards (Joel McDonald, 2008; Nick Haynes, 2010). Throughout six seasons, the Tornados averaged 92.4 points per game, leading a fast-tempo scoring style.
In 2013-2014, the Tornados posted a 16-10 record and advanced to the ASC Tournament for the seventh time in the past eight seasons. Patterson and Sanchez both earned first-team All-ASC accolades, while Patterson also collected D3hoops.com second-team All-West Region honors.
In 2012-2013, Alzaid guided Concordia to its best season since the school joined NCAA Division III. The Tornados won the ASC Tournament Championship for the first time in school history and advanced to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Concordia’s 87-83 victory over Trinity in the opening round of the NCAA postseason tournament allowed the squad to advance to the Round of 32. Alzaid’s squad posted a 24-6 overall record, the best for the Tornados since the 1981-1982 campaign. Concordia, which ranked second in the country with an average of 94 points per game, finished second in the ASC West Division to qualify for its sixth ASC Tournament in seven seasons, where it upset the top two seeds in route to the crown.
In 2014-2015 Alzaid coached high school basketball in Dallas and advanced McKinney North to the state playoffs.
From 2015-2017, Alzaid returned to Concordia to assist the women’s program. The Tornados made the postseason each year he was there.
Alzaid earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Concordia University-Texas in 2008. He also earned a master’s degree from Concordia in curriculum and Instruction in 2010.
He and his wife Sylvia are the parents of a daughter, Nova.
Brandon Joseph finished out his collegiate basketball career last season with the Saints and joins the coaching staff as a student assistant this year. Joseph is a native of Houston, where he attended Humble High School. He also attended John Brown University.