Bert West Named Coach of the Year

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Athletics, Honors

west coach of the year south

Adding more accolades to the historic season, head coach Bert West has been named the South Region “Coach of the Year.” It is his second coach of the year award this season as he was also the American Southwest Conference coach of the year.

West took a team that was voted to finish seventh in the American Southwest Conference and had a Bennett Ranking of 171 to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight.  He also guided his team to their first-ever American Southwest Conference regular season and tournament championships and a 3-1 record in the NCAA Tournament.

West, a native of Arkansas, is a graduate of ETBU as well as a former Tiger basketball play.

Other accomplishments the team had this year were 26 wins which are the second most in program history, an 8-0 start (program best), a 10-game winning streak (program best), first-ever NCAA Division III national ranking at 25th, and the second longest home winning streak in NCAA Division III at 22 games. ETBU also had one of the top defensive shooting percentages in the nation, too.

ETBU defeated Hendrix College, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, and Northwestern-St. Paul in the NCAA Tournament before falling in the Elite Eight. ETBU also defeated conference champions Texas Lutheran (SCAC), Centenary (SCAC regular season), Hendrix (UAA), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (SCIAC), and Northwestern-St. Paul (UMAC).

Click here to watch Coach West on the ETBU Extra Show.



Classroom Interruptions Can Be Good

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Honors

ETBU Alum Bethany Bradley was recently named Teacher of the Year for Bonnette Junior High (Dear Park ISD). Photo: Facebook

ETBU Alum Bethany Bradley was recently named Teacher of the Year for Bonnette Junior High (Dear Park ISD). Photo: Facebook

School teachers do not like interruptions in their classrooms when they are teaching. Some distractions are good. East Texas Baptist University alum Bethany Bradley was involved in teaching her seventh grade reading class when she heard the Bonnette Junior High (Deer Park ISD) fight song being played in the hallway.

Bradley shared, “The symphonic band came marching down the hall to our fight song and interrupted class.  My principal had a bouquet of flowers for me.”

Why the interruption? Bradley, who graduated from ETBU in 2009 with a degree in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Reading, was being presented the Teacher of the Year Award for Bonnettee Junior High.  The Pullman, Washington native will now be nominated for the Deer Park ISD Teacher of the Year Award.

This is her third year teaching at Bonnette and she taught three years prior in the Cy-Fair ISD. Bradley enjoys the relationships she creates with her students and the celebration of growth as they learn.

Her fondest memory of her days on the Hilltop, “ETBU’s education program offered so many different opportunities to be in so many different classrooms. Without that, I wouldn’t be teaching middle school, I would be in lower elementary having no idea I would have missed out on the fun age of middle school. One of my professors, Dr. Paul Vickers actually forced me to try middle school, knowing I would fall in love, and he was exactly right.”

In the essay Bradley wrote as part of the Teacher of the Year process she writes:

“Teaching is about making a difference, building confidence that never even existed before, and finding ways to make each other better no matter what we are doing. My heart beats for students who have had a rough life, who have to work harder than the average Joe to keep up, who think they hate to read and write, for it is with these students that the planted seeds sprout and blossom to the surprised delight of a cynical world. When my year is done with each of these loves, I will send them on with the hope that each will continue to bear fruit, to their own satisfaction and the benefit of their families, friends, and associates.”


All-ASC Basketball Honors Released for 2014-15 Season

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

bball all ascWhat a way to bring in the NCAA post season than with the American Southwest Conference’s best coach and four of their top players.  Head Coach Bert West was named the ASC Coach of the Year while three players were given All-ASC awards.

West, a former ETBU basketball player, was voted the coach of the year for what he did with his team that was picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll. Also making All-ASC were Jamil Samuel, Erby Thompson, Junior Mitchell, and Dylan Augustine.

Samuel was voted onto the second team and All-Defensive team as this is the second year in a row he has received the awards. He led the ASC in rebounding at 9.1 per game and was second in blocked shots.

Augustine earns his first award being named to the All-ASC third.  He is fourth in the ASC in three-point field goals made (66). He is second on the team in scoring at 10.8 ppg.

Thompson and Mitchell were named All-ASC honorable mention. It is the second award for Mitchell as he was named the ASC Tournament MVP and the third time that Thompson has been given an honorable mention award.

ruckerFinishing out her career at ETBU, senior Amanda Rucker was named to the American Southwest Conference  second-team.  Rucker was a four-year starter for ETBU and recorded over 1,000 points in her career.

She was the second leading scorer in all of the ASC averaging 19.8 points per game.  She had two 30-point games with 32 vs. Louisiana College and 30 against Howard Payne. She scored 20 or more points in 12 games and recorded four double-doubles on the year.

Last year she was an All-ASC third team selection and has made the All-ASC East player of the week twice in her career.


Tigers Win First Ever ASC Basketball Championship

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics

The 2015 American Southwest Conference Tournament Champions. (Photo by Mike Midkiff)

The 2015 American Southwest Conference Tournament Champions. (Photo by Mike Midkiff)

History happened on Saturday night, Feb. 28, as East Texas Baptist University won their 20th straight game in Ornelas Gym clinching their first-ever American Southwest Conference Tournament Championship, 82-71, over Concordia University-Texas. ETBU now receives their first-ever automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament and has won 13 of their last 14 games with 23 wins overall.

“This place is a special place as East Texas Baptist University is dear to my heart,” says head coach Bert West. “The fans, the students, all the athletic teams support each other and that was wonderful. I’ve coached a lot of teams and have to be careful how I say this but it’s fair to say that I have never had a team that has played more as a team than this team. They are absolutely selfless and that is one of the biggest reasons why we are where we are.”

To read the game story, click here.

Watch highlights of the Tiger win over Concordia Texas, click here.


Three ETBU Student-Athletes Recognized By ASC

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

baseball wilkerson pow 2015Jordan Wilkerson’s (Irving, Texas/homeschool) gem on Friday at Texas Dallas notched him his first career award, winning pitcher of the week.

The sophomore threw eight shutout innings in a 1-0 win over Texas Dallas. He struck out five batters and retired the side three times. He pitched out of a jam in the seventh with two men on base and two outs he got a much needed strikeout to end the threat.

ETBU has gotten off to a hot start this season at 6-3, 2-1 in conference. Wilkerson has made three starts with a 1-1 record and nine strikeouts this season.

track and field pow 2015After competing in their first meet last weekend, the East Texas Baptist University track teams swept the player of the week honors as Cody Blankenship took the honor for the men and Shelby Sparks took if for the women.

Blankenship, a freshman from Hallsville (Hallsville HS), won the high jump with a jump of 6’2” and Sparks (Richardson, TX/Plano East Senior HS) placed fifth in the two mile run with a time of 13:17. She also competed in the 1500 meter run, taking 10th, the distance medley relay and the 4×400 relay.

The track and field teams compete next at UT-Tyler on March 6th.


Assistant Principal Saves 6th Grader from Choking

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni

ETBU alum Blake Coleman and Athony Middle School sixth grader Grayson Barger being interviewed by KRIV-FOX 26 Houston. (Screen

ETBU alum Blake Coleman and Athony Middle School sixth grader Grayson Barger being interviewed by KRIV-FOX 26 Houston. (Screen

If you have ever been in a middle school cafeteria during lunch you have witnessed all the activity that occurs while students eat.  There is visiting among students, school personnel walking around the cafeteria to maintain order and on occasion a small food fight might break out.

At first Anthony Middle School Assistant Principal Blake Coleman thought he was being summoned to break up “horse-playing” among students. He quickly assessed that students gathered around sixth grader Grayson Barger was trying to help him because he was choking.

Coleman, who graduated from East Texas Baptist University in 2004 with a Business Administration degree, reacted quickly to perform the Heimlich maneuver to save Barger’s life.

Coleman said in an article published on the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD website, “When I first turned around I saw one male student with two other male students around his back and my first thought was they were horse playing or fighting. I quickly realized what was happening and asked Grayson if he was in fact choking. He was bright red but was able to nod.”

The website article reports that Coleman had never performed the Heimlich maneuver, but—visualizing an instructional poster he had seen—stood behind Barger and joined his hands around his abdomen, making three forceful compressions under the diaphragm. The food lodged in the sixth graders throat popped out and he was no longer at risk.

Tiger Pride commends alum Coleman for his action that saved Barger’s life.

To watch an interview by KRIV FOX 26 with Coleman, Barger and his mother, click here.

To read the story on the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD website, click here.


Two ETBU Student-Athletes Named Players of the Week by ASC

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors


Two East Texas Baptist University student-athletes were recognized by the American Southwest Conference in the same week as Player of the Week in their respective sports.

Sophomore  basketball player Dylan Augustine was named Player of the Week for games played February 9-15. During that stretch the Tigers gained the first place spot in the conference standings led by Augustine’s performance on the court.

Softball pitcher Kelly Jo McLendon was named Pitcher of the Week for games played February 10-16. The Lady Tigers, ranked third in the preseason NFCA Division III poll swept Hardin-Simmons over the weekend in a three game series at Taylor Field.


Games played Feb. 9-15

PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Dylan Augustine, G, So., East Texas Baptist
Sophomore guard Dylan Augustine (Jennings, La./Hathaway HS) averaged 15.5 points and shot .667 overall in the two biggest games of the year for ETBU. He shot .778 from three-point range (7-of-9) and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line against HSU. Augustine scored a career-high 25 points and only missed one shot from the floor making all five three-point attempts against the Cowboys in the game for first place in the conference standings. In the final 31 seconds against HSU went 6-of-6 from the foul line to put the game away. With ETBU up by four with 10 seconds left, Augustine stole the ball, got fouled and made two more free throws to seal the win. Against Texas Dallas he scored six points hitting two three-pointers with his second one being made with 46 seconds left in the game to put ETBU up by one (59-58) as they went on for the 63-58 win.

mcclendon pitcher of the week

Games played Feb. 10-16

PITCHER OF THE WEEKKelly Jo McLendon, RHP, Jr., East Texas Baptist
Junior pitcher Kelly Jo McLendon (Livingston, Texas/Livingston HS) pitched a no-hitter in game three on Saturday and allowed just one walk in 17 batters faced. She went 2-0 with no earned runs in both outings as each game was a run-rule victory. In her first outing last Friday McClendon gave up just three hits and no earned runs in an 11-1 win. The next day she recorded six strikeouts with one walk in the no-hitter winning 8-0. McClendon retired the sides in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings in the no-hitter win.

(Copy from the American Southwest Conference website.)


A Story of Love from KTBS Channel 3 Shreveport

Posted by Tiger Pride in Faculty/Staff


Screen shot: KTBS.COM

Screen shot: KTBS.COM

One of the professors teaching in the East Texas Baptist University School of Education, Dr. John Sargent, was featured in a story aired by KTBS-TV Shreveport. Dr. Sargent has been at ETBU since 2003 and over the weekend, Gerry May, evening anchor for KTBS-TV Shreveport, did a feature on Dr. Sargent and his wife, Kathleen.

Since Valentine’s Day was this past Saturday, the story for the Hometown Patriot segment, dealt with love. The Sergeants met in 1991 while serving our country in the U.S. Air Force at Dyess Air Force base located in Abilene, Texas.

To watch the story that aired on KTBS, click here.

Congratulations to the Sargent’s who will celebrate 23 years of marriage next month.

To find out more about the ETBU School of Education and its programs, click here


Tiger Softball Ranked High By NFCA

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics

preseason nat ranking softball

Starting off the season as one of the best NCAA Division III teams in the nation, the East Texas Baptist University softball team has been voted third in nation by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. ETBU received 186 points and was just three points off of being the second ranked team in the nation.

ETBU returns 15 players from last year’s team that went 45-10 and finished fifth at the NCAA Division III World Series.  With their program best 45 wins, the NFCA gave them a fourth place finish in the national poll. The 45 wins were the second most in the nation behind national champion Tufts University’s 47 wins.  ETBU is also three spots ahead of fellow ASC member Texas-Tyler who is tied for sixth place.

ETBU opens up their 2015 season on Friday, February 13th with a double-header against Hardin-Simmons at Taylor Field at 4:00 p.m.


ETBC Grad Retiring After 38 years in Ministry

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


Tiger Pride has learned from the latest digital edition of the Baptist Standard that East Texas Baptist College graduate Troy Richardson is retiring after 38 years in ministry.

Here is what was posted by the Baptist Standard:


Troy Richardson, Jan. 15, after seven years as pastor of First Baptist Church in Warren and 38 years in ministry. A graduate of East Texas Baptist College and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he spent his first eight years as a pastor in Utah. Since 1985, he has served Texas churches in San Augustine, Bon Weir, Woodville, Amarillo and Warren. He and his wife, Bonnie, have four children.