Dickey Excited To Join Cowboys Staff

STILLWATER – Travis Ford and James Dickey have known each other for nearly 30 years, since Ford was a standout high school basketball player in Kentucky and Dickey was an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky. However, it wasn't until Wednesday when Ford hired Dickey to join his Oklahoma State coaching staff that the two began working together.

Dickey became the first new hire on Ford's coaching staff in six years on Wednesday. The 60-year-old Dickey joins the Cowboys coaching staff after assistant coach Steve Middleton was let go by Ford in April.

Dickey and Ford met with the media on Thursday to talk about the new hire.

"He actually came and watched me play when I was a high school player back in Kentucky. (That's how I) got to know coach Dickey," Ford said. "I was around him a lot through the summers and different AAU programs when he was at Kentucky with Coach (Eddie) Sutton.

"I've know coach Dickey and the Sutton family for a very long time, way before I got here. And again, coach Dickey is somebody for a long time I've always respected. He's somebody when I got the job here helped me with the transition, and I really respected how he handled that. Somebody I've always thought, ‘Hey, he would be fun to work with some day.' The opportunity came about.

"He and I sat and chatted on several different occasions, formally and informally, and just talked about different things and you know, he's somebody again who I think can bring a lot to our basketball program. A whole lot."

Dickey spent seven seasons at Oklahoma State as an assistant first for Eddie Sutton and then for Sean Sutton from 2002 to 2008. He spent the past four seasons as head coach at Houston before resigning last month. He is excited to once again be coaching inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

"I want to thank coach Ford first of all. This is an unbelievable opportunity for me for a lot of reasons," Dickey said. "I am extremely excited, thrilled, honored to be able to come back to Stillwater and be at Oklahoma State, which has always had a special place in my heart. I really enjoyed my time here before.

"I've known Coach Ford for a long time. I should have done a better job recruiting him when he was a high school player. I've known him, his dad (Eddie Ford) was very helpful to us in Kentucky as far as recruiting, so I followed him for a long, long time.

"I was extremely honored and excited when he gave me a call, and I look forward to getting started and extremely excited to be back. When I stepped down (from Houston) I had some things I needed to work on. He has been very supportive, and because obviously the location here, this has been even more important. My family is here, so this is a great situation. I'm looking forward to the excitement that exists with coach Ford and Cowboy basketball."

Dickey compiled a 64-62 record in four seasons at Houston, including finishing 17-16 during the 2013-14 season. He also was head coach for 10 seasons at Texas Tech (from 1992 to 2001), and led the Red Raiders to a 30-2 record and Sweet 16 appearance during the 1995-96 season.

With 14 seasons of head-coaching experience, Dickey hopes to be of assistance as Ford enters his seventh season in leading the Cowboys.

"I certainly want to help him in any way that he wants, and the biggest thing is to take as much off his plate as we possibly can so he can focus on the things he enjoys doing," Dickey said. "Your main focus every day is your players. And obviously recruiting is a big thing, something you have to do every day.

?"The one thing about him, he's such a tireless worker. Unbelievably detailed. He's here early, stays late. He loves the game, and I remember when he first came here in his opening statement to the team, he said, ‘If you love basketball and you love to work, you'll love playing for me.'

"For me coming in as an assistant coach who loves coming in here every day and loves the game, it's going to be a special opportunity. I'm looking forward to helping him in any way we can, whether it's the administrative on a daily basis, then on the court and during the games."

Ford seems to be just as excited to have a fresh face joining his coaching staff.

"I'm excited on a lot of different levels," Ford said. "He's somebody who is going to bring a great amount to our basketball team to help us succeed at a high level. Somebody who again has experienced a lot as an assistant coach, as a head coach at the highest level. As a head coach or an assistant coach, you always want to put somebody around you who will make you better, and I think James Dickey can definitely do that for our basketball program."

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