Bob Hoffman took to the podium Monday morning as a coach who’d won a National Championship at Southern Nazarene University, a man who had coached in two more title games at Oklahoma Baptist University, and a leader who won an ESPY award after his Mercer Bears upset Duke University in the NCAA tournament in 2014.
On Monday, Hoffman was speaking on his new position atop the University of Central Oklahoma’s men’s basketball coaching board.
“We are moving into what I believe will be the best chapter in my coaching career,” Hoffman said.
Despite Monday’s conference tentatively-themed for basketball, most of Hoffman’s press conference was spent discussing his desire for the program to leave an impact on the surrounding community. A community that Hoffman and his wife, Kelli, had been a part of years ago.
“You could actually see the goalposts from Brandywine Apartments, where my wife and I spent our first year of marriage,” Hoffman said.
Combined, the Hoffmans have three degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma. Coach Hoffman — who spouts a blue and gold master’s in secondary administration — even said some of his best games as a player came when his Oklahoma Baptist University traveled to face his new program.
He said he hopes some of that self-proclaimed, Hamilton Field House “luck” will carry-over into his coaching career.
Then, Hoffman outlined a set of criteria and plans that he says will have his program leaving a legacy on the surrounding community.
“Some people don’t understand what’s going on here on a daily basis. People who are educated here go on to educate the people of the state.”
Education quickly became the impromptu theme of Monday’s conference. The new Sports Performance Center that dots the northern goalpost of Wantland Stadium was filled with a Who’s Who list of local athletic impacters and personnel from Hoffman’s past administrations. And he lamented the congregation with plans to teach his team and community about the principles dear to him.
“First and foremost, we are going to be about education,” Hoffman said, seconds before stating he’s only waiting for compliance officials to give him a green light before his team starts reading programs at local elementary schools.
Hoffman said he was excited to get a chance to give back to a community that was so influential to him.
“What an amazing community, OKC is great but Edmond is off the charts,” he said. “The chance to live here, work here, be a part of this place — I think there are just so many things I think we can do. It’s all coming together at this time, the timing is perfect and the opportunity is fantastic.”