The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team filled out its coaching staff this week with the hiring of Aaron Proctor as assistant coach.
Proctor fills the position vacated by Ken Moses, who departed for Southern Illinois University this past spring. Proctor started his new duties Aug. 7.
"We lost a good one with Coach Moses leaving," Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Chris Popp said. "Ken did a great job here, and I am happy for him with his opportunity at Southern Illinois. He remains part of the Grizzly family, and I am certain he will continue to excel in this business.
"Moving forward, I am extremely excited about adding Coach Proctor," Popp continued. "He has worked his way up through the trenches. As a former high school and small college assistant myself, I can appreciate the work and sacrifices he has made coming up in the business. It is all together a different grind and he has been successful through it. In that time, he has developed a reputation as a tireless worker who gets things done. Not only is coach well respected by his peers and players, he is well liked. Many times that balance is hard to find."
Proctor's coaching experience
Proctor comes to the Grizzlies with 13 years of coaching experience, including a season as assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS) and two seasons as a graduate assistant at Kansas State University (KSU).
At UAFS, Proctor was involved in all facets of the program, including recruiting, scouting, game and practice preparation. At KSU, he assisted in the breakdown of game video, scouting and on-court skill development and recruiting.
Proctor, who joins the Grizzlies after a head coaching change at UAFS, said he is excited to be here and to continue coaching in the collegiate ranks.
"I love to be in an area where everyone is so invested in the university and the program. Everyone I talk to feels like they have a personal stake in the success of the community, the university and the program," he said.
Proctor believes his ability to connect with the players will be an asset to the program.
"As a former high school coach, I can relate to young people and can help them see a vision and reach their goals. I really rely on my background as a coach and an educator to get to know young people and help them see what they can't see. That's my greatest attribute," he said.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Proctor coached for 10 years at the high school/prep school level. He served as head coach at North Forest High School (2017-2018) and Heights High School (2012-2013) in Houston, Texas, and at Alvin High School (2013-2015) in Alvin, Texas.
He also spent six years as assistant coach of Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas, and has coached 15U and 17U teams with the Texas PRO Adidas Guantlet summer program.
"Coach Proctor has been around a wide range of levels and has witnessed many different ways of doing things. I love that," Popp said. "It is how you learn and grow in our business. In particular, his experience as a head coach gives him a different perspective than most assistants."
Proctor, a Houston, Texas, native, attended California State University in San Bernardino (CSUSB), where he played one season for Head Coach Jeff Oliver. During that season in 2004-05, Proctor helped the Coyotes post a 21-6 record, capture the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) title and earn a trip to the NCAA tournament.
He graduated from CSUSB in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and taught high school English for 10 years.
Proctor completed a Master of Science degree in Academic Advising from KSU in 2017.
Proctor and his wife, Ashford, have a seven-month-old daughter, Harper.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit www.msuwpgrizzlies.com or call 417-255-7991.