Staff
Head Coach
Paul Mills

Paul Mills was named the head coach for ORU basketball on April 28, 2017 after 14 years on staff at Baylor.

“This is an exciting day for ORU basketball. Coach Mills has a wealth of top level NCAA experience and comes to us fully prepared to advance the ORU men’s basketball program to new heights,” said Carter. “I love the passion Coach Mills has for his players and this will be key as we continue to develop whole person champions.Coach Mills is here for the long-haul committing to a five year contract building toward a strong Golden Eagle men’s basketball future.”

“I am honored to accept this role of representing this historic institution, its students and its mission,” said Mills. “Making this commitment today is a highlight of my career and I look forward with excitement to the basketball season directly ahead. Go Golden Eagles.”

“In Coach Mills we have a man of great character who has a passion for mentoring young men to be good citizens, good husbands, and spiritual leaders. Coach Mills has a fantastic family and a strong competitive nature,” said ORU President William Wilson. “We are excited for the days ahead.”

While on the staff at Baylor with Head Coach Scott Drew, Mills has helped the Bears graduate 36 of 38 seniors and has helped lead Baylor to a pair of NCAA Elite Eights, four Sweet 16’s and four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The Bears have been ranked in the top 25 for 10 straight seasons and were ranked number one in the country for the first time in school history during the 2016-17 season.

Mills was on the Rice staff from 2002-03 and the head coach at Fort Bend Christian Academy from 1999-2002, taking them to the TAPPS 4A Final Four for the first time in school history and was the South Region Coach of the Year and a four-time District Coach of the Year. Prior to his time in Sugar Land, Texas, Mills won three straight district championships as the head coach at North Belt Christian.

Mills served as the Big 12 representative for the National Association of Basketball Coaches and was a board member for the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches from 2001-03. He is a 1996 graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in finance, and is married to Wendy Scott-Mills. The couple has two daughters, Audrey and Abbey.

Associate Head Coach
Rodney Perry

Rodney Perry joined the Golden Eagles prior to the 2016-17 season from Avila University where he was the head coach for six years. Perry was also the head coach for the MOKAN Elite AAU team that won the 2016 Nike Peach Jam Championship. Over the summer of 2016, Perry was also selected as a court coach for the 2016 USA Basketball Men's U17 World Championship Team training camp.

The 1995 AAU Coach of the Year after winning a national championship, Perry was also selected as a coach for the USA Men's West Team competing at the 2012 Nike Global Challenge Basketball Tournament in Washington D.C. Perry also earned gold at the 2015 Nike Global Challenge.

Perry is a graduate of Missouri State and helped the Bears to a pair of postseason appearances, including a 23-8 NCAA Tournament team in 1992. He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education and began coaching in 1994 as an assistant in the Missouri high school system. He coached at a pair of high schools before jumping to the college ranks, where he spent time on staff at Duquesne, Western Illinois and Southwest Baptist.

Assistant Coach
Talvin Hester

Talvin Hester was named to the ORU coaching staff on May 3, 2017, joining new head coach Paul Mills. Hester spent three years (2014-17) on Kelvin Sampson’s staff at Houston and has experience at eight different programs in Texas at both the college and professional levels.

In addition to helping Sampson build the program at Houston that included a 22-win season in 2015-16 and an NIT berth, Hester was also an assistant coach for Danny Kaspar at both Stephen F. Austin and Texas State, helping the Lumberjacks to a 27-5 record.

Hester brings more than 15 years of coaching experience to South Tulsa, but has also been active off the court, serving Thanksgiving meals at the Star of Hope Mission and leading a Texas Special Olympics event inside Hofheinz Pavillion. During the summer of 2011, Hester was one of a select few invited to participate in the NCAA Black Coaches and Administrators Achieving Coaching Excellence Program. This prestigious four-day program was designed to prepare racial and ethnic minority basketball coaches for success as future head coaches.

Hester is a played at Dallas Christian College and received his degree from Texas Wesleyan in 2003. Hester and his wife, Jamieka, have a daughter Rhyan.

What Mills says about Hester
“I have known Talvin for a long time and I’ve admired his work. He has learned a lot under several terrific coaches and brings with him a wealth of knowledge from good conferences. His experiences will propel ORU forward. He is as committed a coach as I’ve known and will work tirelessly for ORU to compete for Summit League championships.”

Assistant Coach
Sam Patterson

Sam Patterson joined the ORU staff May 3, 2017, joining Head Coach Paul Mills’ staff after 13 seasons at Baylor, including the final five as the director of video operations. Patterson also spent six years as a student manager and graduate assistant and two years as a video coordinator.

Patterson joined the Baylor program as a student manager during the 2004-05 season -- head coach Scott Drew's second season at Baylor -- and ascended to head manager prior to the 2006-07 campaign. In 2008, he was named graduate assistant, taking charge of film exchange and leading in the coordination and breakdown of video.

For the his final seven years in Waco, Patterson served as camp director of the Scott Drew Basketball Camps at Baylor, hiring staff, creating camp schedules and directing camps of over 250 campers. From 2007-09, he served as Big 12 Conference president for the non-profit organization "Managers vs. Cancer." He recruited new members and assisted in the contribution of auction items for charity.

In addition to Baylor, Patterson has been a camp coach at over 20 summer basketball camps nationwide, including Notre Dame, Florida, Ohio State, Butler and Five Star Basketball.

The San Antonio, Texas, native graduated with his bachelor's degree in sociology in 2008 and his master's degree in sport management in May 2010.

Patterson married the former Tricia Lovvorn in May 2010, and they have a daughter, Joy.

What Mills says about Patterson
“I have worked with Sam for each of the past 13 seasons. He has had a great deal to do with the success at Baylor and has contributed significantly to our offensive success during that time. His international ties and knowledge of Teas will help enhance our recruiting too. The ORU community will be ecstatic that Sam, Tricia and Joy are a part of this basketball program.”

Director of Operations
Steve Upshaw

The 2016-17 season is Steve Upshaw’s 15th year on the ORU basketball staff. Upshaw joined the Golden Eagles after coaching at the high school level.

In his position, Upshaw coordinates the day-to-day operations of the men’s basketball office. He also monitors the team’s academic progress, coordinates team travel and camps.

A 1992 graduate of Northeastern State, Upshaw has been with the Golden Eagles for three NCAA Tournaments, two NITs and two CIT berths. With Upshaw on the sidelines in 2012-13, ORU advanced to the third round of the CIT, winning the first postseason game at ORU since the 1974-75 season.

Born on April 1, 1968 in Jenks, Okla., Upshaw played high school basketball at Cleveland with former ORU assistant Conley Phipps.

Upshaw is married to the former Janet Williams. He has one son, Zeke, and three stepchildren: Lyndsey, Ty and Ashley.