FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – New Mexico State associate head coach Glynn Cyprien has joined the Arkansas Razorback basketball staff as an assistant, head coach Stan Heath announced on Friday.
Cyprien spent the 2006 season at NMSU, helping the Aggies to a 16-14 finish for their first winning season since 2003 and the second-best turnaround in the nation. NMSU was 6-24 in 2005.
“When I started this process, I decided to take my time and find not only the best candidate, but someone who could make an impact on our program,” Heath says. “Glynn has a wealth of experience and he has worked for several great coaches, including Eddie Sutton. He has a lot of energy and excitement, and he relates to the players.”
“I’m extremely excited about this opportunity because of my relationship with Coach Heath,” Cyprien says. “I have a lot of confidence in Coach Heath and his staff. They’ve gotten better every year and I’m looking forward to being a part of something special in Fayetteville. He has a great staff there and I’ll do whatever he needs me to do.”
His responsibilities will include assisting in coaching defense, recruiting, scouting and player development.
“I believe he can add a lot of things to our program, whether that includes scouting preparation, offense or defense” Heath says. “Whenever I watched Oklahoma State play, I was always intrigued by their defense, but he can help us in all phases.”
From 2001-04, he was an assistant to Sutton at Oklahoma State. In his four years at OSU, the Cowboys were a combined 97-32. All four teams earned NCAA Tournament bids with the 2004 squad going 31-4 and reaching the Final Four. The 2003 club was 23-10 and reached the second round of the tournament. The 2002 team went 23-9 and lost to Heath’s Kent State club in the first round. The 2001 team was 20-10.
“I’m very familiar with Arkansas because I coached with Coach Sutton at Oklahoma State,” Cyprien says. “Coach Sutton loved Arkansas and spoke highly of the university, the following and the loyalty of the fans. I’m also excited about going to the SEC. I’m a southern boy from New Orleans, so I’ve followed the SEC for a long time.”
Before going to Stillwater, Cyprien was associate head coach at UNLV for five years from 1996-2000 where he oversaw UNLV’s recruiting. UNLV’s 1997 recruiting class was rated best in the nation by The Sporting News and Basketball Times, and the 1999 class second-best by Hoop Scoop.
While at UNLV, the 1996 club was 10-16, but the Rebels were in the post-season each of the next four years. The 1997 team was 22-10 and lost at Arkansas in the first round of the NIT. The ’98 team was 20-13 and earned an NCAA Tournament bid, the ’99 club went 16-13 and played in the NIT, and the 2000 Rebels were 23-8 and played in the NCAA Tournament.
In 1995, he was associate head coach at Western Kentucky when the Hilltoppers won Sun Belt Conference regular-season and tournament titles, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and ended the year ranked No. 21 with a 27-4 record. WKU’s .871 winning percentage was second-best in the nation that season while the recruiting class was ranked No. 10.
Western Kentucky’s staff also included Jim Christian as an assistant. Christian later worked as an assistant to Heath at Kent State and is now the head coach at Kent.
Cyprien was also associate head coach at Jacksonville University from 1991-94. The Dolphins recorded the most improved winning percentage in the nation, going from .222 (6-21) to .607 (17-11).
A former assistant at Lamar and Texas-San Antonio, he helped Lamar improve from 7-20 to 15-12 in 1991. At UTSA, he helped the Roadrunners earn their first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament in 1988 (22-9) and followed with records of 21-8 in 1989 and 22-7 in 1990.
Cyprien is already familiar with at least a few of the Razorbacks.
“Sonny (Weems) is a heck of a player,” he says. “(NMSU) signed one of his teammates so I saw him play a few times. The guard out of Chicago (Patrick Beverley) is really, really good, and Steven Hill is a heck of a player.”
The New Orleans, La., native lettered two seasons as a player at Southern University-New Orleans. In 2004, he earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Texas-San Antonio.
He has been a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) for 18 years and the Black Coaches Association (BCA) for 13 years.
Cyprien is married to the former Monique Bouldin and they are the parents of Asia (12) and Karter (4).
Cyprien fills the opening on Arkansas’ staff created when Ronny Thompson left to become head coach at Ball State.