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Jason Beschta enters his first season as head men's basketball coach in 2014-15 after serving as the head coach at Oklahoma Wesleyan for three seasons.
During his three year tenure at OKWU from 2011-2014, Beschta increased his squad's win total each season beginning with a 16-16 mark in 2011-12. The Eagles' 8-6 mark in Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference action was good enough for a second-place finish before compiling five more victories in 2012-13 by notching a 21-10 record and 12-4 mark in conference play.
Finally, in his third year at the helm, Wesleyan experienced a breakout season, posting a 25-10 (12-2 MCAC) record, which featured an conference regular season co-championship and a conference tournament finalist finish. This landed the Eagles an at-large berth to the 2014 NAIA Division II National Championships, the program's fifth appearance in the big dance. At the national tournament, Wesleyan knocked off then-No. 12 Morningside (Iowa) in the round of 32 before falling in the round of 16 to eventual national champion, Indiana Wesleyan. For his efforts in the 2013-14 season, Beschta was named the MCAC Coach of the Year.
Beschta accumulated an overall record of 62-36 (.633) while at Oklahoma Wesleyan and notched an even more impressive 32-12 mark (.727) in MCAC play. He also coached four MCAC All-Conference honorees, two of which landed on the MCAC first team. Additionally, Beschta produced one conference Player of the Year, one NAIA All-America first teamer and one selection to the inaugural NAIA All-Star Game in 2014. In the classroom, Beschta's squad landed five players on the MCAC All-Academic team while two garnered NAIA Scholar-Athlete accolades.
Prior to Oklahoma Wesleyan, Beschta spent three seasons as the assistant coach at Cedarville (Ohio). The trio of campaigns saw great success for the Yellow Jackets. From 2008-2011, Beschta and CU won a share of a regular season championship, an American Mideast Conference tournament title and three trips to the NAIA Division II National Championships. Cedarville posted a combined 3-3 record in national tournament play while Beschta accumulated a 73-26 (.737) mark while assisting head coach Pat Estepp. The Yellow Jackets performed even better during AMC play, piling up a 39-8 mark (.829) against conference opposition.
The individual accolades for Beschta's players at Cedarville continued to mount as one NAIA All-America second team, two NAIA Honorable Mentions, six All-Conference winners and one All-Freshman Team recipient earned honors under his guidance.
Beschta began his coaching career with his alma mater, Bryan (Tenn.), as the lead assistant coach for the 2001-02 season. While the Lions could only manage a 12-19 mark entering the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament, Bryan made an unprecedented run to the AAC conference tournament finals, finishing the season as winners in three of its final four contests.
After one season with Bryan, Beschta quickly made his way to the big stage as a graduate assistant at Baylor (Texas). There with the Big 12 squad, he assisted with preseason player development, coordinated film exchange and breakdown, prepared scouting reports and team preparation, scheduling recruiting efforts and overseeing the squad's budgeting, team travel, scheduling, equipment and inventory.
Beschta then headed north for four seasons as an assistant coach at NCAA II Minnesota State University at Moorhead from 2004-2008. With the Dragons, he led recruiting efforts and assisted head coach Stu Engen with coaching efforts, game strategy, practice planning, player development, team travel organization, tape exchange, advanced scouting, film breakdown and NCAA compliance efforts.
Before earning his graduate degree from Baylor in sports pedagogy in 2004, Beschta pieced together a stellar playing career during his undergraduate time at Bryan. As a Lion, he finished second in program history in both career points (2,138) and career triples made (432). Beschta also served as team captain for two seasons and earned All-Conference accolades on a trio of occasions while landing a pair of NAIA All-America Honorable Mention honors. While finishing his degree in exercise science, and graduating cum laude, he led the Lions to the program's first-ever Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament title and appearance in the NAIA National Championships in 2000.
Beschta and his wife, Becca, have one son, Gage, and will soon reside in Siloam Springs.