It's Official: Travis Ford To Lead Cowboys

Travis Ford, the head coach at the University of Massachusetts the past three seasons, has accepted an offer to become the head basketball coach at Oklahoma State, officials at UMass confirmed late Wednesday afternoon to the Springfield (Mass.) Republican. Ford was expected to meet with his UMass players later Wednesday to break the news to them that he was leaving to lead the OSU program.

Ford is expected to be introduced by Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder as the 18th head men's basketball coach in OSU history sometime later this week, and it could be as early as Thursday. He will replace Sean Sutton, who mutually agreed with Holder that a change was necessary for the Cowboy basketball program and resigned on April 1.

Ford was thought to be reconsidering his decision to accept the OSU head coaching job Wednesday afternoon, but UMass assistant athletic director Jason Yellin told the Springfield Republican at 5:35 p.m. (Eastern time) that Ford has decided to accept Holder's offer and would be leaving the school.

The 38-year-old Ford compiled a 62-35 record in his three seasons as head coach at UMass, including leading the Minutemen to NIT championship game this past season where they lost to Ohio State.

Ford, a former Kentucky Wildcat guard (he played from 1991-94 after transferring after one year at Missouri) just completed his third season at UMass. Ford turned down an offer last week to become head coach at Providence in the Big East, and also withdrew his name for consideration at LSU in the Southeastern Conference.

The Minutemen finished this past season with a 25-11 record after advancing to the championship game of the NIT where they lost to Ohio State, 92-85. A year ago, in his first season at UMass, Ford led his team to a 24-9 record and a share of the Atlantic 10 regular season championship. His first Minutemen team finished 13-15.

Ford has been a college head coach for 11 years (beginning at Campbellsville with a stop at Eastern Kentucky before accepting the UMass job) and has a 190-146 career record. His only appearance in the NCAA Tournament occurred in 2005 when he lead Eastern Kentucky to the Ohio Valley Conference championship.

Ford grew up in Madisonville, Ky., and avderaged 31.7 points per game in leading North Hopkins High School to three state tournament appearances. He originally signed with Missouri, and played one season for Norm Stewart.

The Tigers defeated the OSU Cowboys twice during the 1989-90 season when Ford was a member of the Missouri squad - 78-68 in Columbia, Mo., and 72-71 in Stillwater.

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