Head Coach Dave Wilbers
Dave Wilbers is a coach for life.
From coaching high school football and basketball, to community college basketball and volleyball, to becoming an NCAA women's basketball coach, coaching is in Wilbers' blood.
Wilbers was named Tech's sixth women's head coach on April 30, 2007. In his first season at Tech, Wilbers led the Golden Suns to a 26-6 overall record and a berth in the NCAA Division II Basketball Tournament. Wilbers' first team finished runner-up at the Gulf South Conference Tournament, advanced to the second round of the NCAA D-II South Regional and finished the season with a No. 16 ranking in the final WBCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll. In addition, Amanda Grappe became the program's 14th different Golden Sun player to earn All-American honors in 2007-08.
In his second season in 2008-09, Tech finished with a 19-9 record and advanced to the GSC Tournament for the third consecutive year and in his third season in 2009-10, Wilbers led the Golden Suns to a 31-3 overall record and its first berth in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight since 1999. Wilbers' third Golden Suns team shared the GSC West Division title with Delta State, won its first GSC Women's Basketball title since 2003 and won its first NCAA D-II South Regional title since 1999. Jenny Vining became the program's 15th different Golden Sun player to earn All-American honor. Along with advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1999, Tech also finished the 2009-10 season ranked sixth in the final USA Today/ESPN Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll.
Wilbers' fourth Golden Sun team in 2010-11 finished with a 30-3 overall record as the Golden Suns advanced to its second consecutive NCAA D-II Elite Eight after repeating as both the GSC and NCAA D-II South Regional Champions. Natalia Santos earned Honorable Mention State Farm/WBCA All-American honors in 2010-11. Additionally, Tech claimed its second straight GSC West Division crown and finished the season ranked third in the final USA Today/ESPN Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll and was also was the No. 1 field goal shooting team in all of Division II as Tech finished the year shooting 50.5 percent from the field.
In 2011-12, Wilbers led Tech to a 22-4 overall record and the inaugural regular season GAC title. Tech finished the season ranked in the Top 25 of the WBCA Poll and was ranked in the Top 10 of the poll for a majority of the season. For the second consecutive season, Tech finished the season as the top field goal shooting team in Division II as the Golden Suns shot 49.1 percent from the field. During the 2012-13 season, Wilbers led the team to a 23-6 overall and 17-3 GAC record. The team finished first in the conference and went on to win the GAC Tournament Championship. Tech went to the NCAA Tournament and lost in the first round to Minnesota State-Mankato.
During the 2013-14 season, Tech held a 17-11 overall and 12-8 conference record. His eighth season saw the Golden Suns return to form with a 23-7 record including a 16-4 mark in conference play, capturing the 2015 GAC regular-season crown and advancing to the conference title game once again before moving on to the NCAA tournament. Newcomer Fatima Adams emerged as a two-way threat and was named the GAC Newcomer of the Year as well as a third-team all-American.
Year number nine for Wilbers at Arkansas Tech provided much of the same, as his Golden Suns rolled to a 27-4 record and the 2016 Great American Conference Championship. Adams and Anissa Pounds racked up all-GAC honors, while Adams was a consensus first team all-American as the Golden Suns finished the season ranked No. 17. In the 2016-17 season, the Suns posted a 22-8 overall record and 16-6 mark in conference play. Tech earned the two seed for the GAC tournament, reaching the finals and later making an appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament for the third straight season.
Prior to coming to Tech, Wilbers spent six years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Oral Roberts University, an NCAA Division I school in Tulsa, Okla., that is a member of the Mid-Continent Conference. While at ORU, Wilbers was responsible for recruiting three straight heralded recruiting classes that helped the Golden Eagles to win two Mid-Con Tournament championships, two Mid-Con regular season titles and earn two berths in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.
Prior to Oral Roberts, Wilbers spent three seasons on Cindy Stein's staff at the University of Missouri of the Big 12 Conference, as the first assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. While at Missouri-Kansas City, the Lady Tigers made it to the Sweet 16 of the 2001 NCAA Basketball Tournament and finished with a 22-10 overall record. In his three years in Columbia, Mo., the Lady Tigers showed consistent improvement as they won 13 games in 1988-89, 18 games in 1989-90 and 22 games in 2000-01.
Before heading to Missouri, Wilbers served as the assistant women's basketball and head volleyball coach at Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kan., for five years (1993-98). While at Seward, Wilbers helped lead the women's basketball program to an overall record of 143-21 and four Jayhawk Conference Western Division Championships ('94, '96, '97 and '98). In addition, SCCC made two straight appearances (1996-97 and 1997-98) in the NJCAA Region IV Final Four.
In addition to his college coaching experience, Wilbers also spent one season (1991-92) as the head girls basketball and softball coach at Welch High School in Welch, Okla. He also served as an assistant football coach at WHS. He also spent one year (1990-91) coaching high school basketball at Putnam City High School in Putnam City, Okla.
A native of Kansas City, Mo., Wilbers is married to the former Christina Urton and the couple have two children, a daughter, Bailey and a son, Brett.