Oklahoma Wesleyan didn’t have to look far for their new men’s head basketball coach. After a wave of success during last season and former coach Jason Beschta announcing his resignation, the OKWU administration had the perfect candidate in mind.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Mueller Sports Center, John Means announced to staff, family, and fans that women’s head coach and OKWU athletic director Mark Molder will be taking the position.
“Two weeks ago Jason Beschta tendered his opportunity to take a head coaching opportunity at another university, which lead us to do our search to replace our head men’s basketball coach,” Means said. “We did that rather quickly, because it didn’t take us a lot of time. The reality is we have a very qualified coach in our midst that should be our men’s head basketball coach.”
Molder has served the past three years as the Lady Eagles’ head coach. During his tenure, the women made historic back-to-back appearances at the NAIA national tournament.
Prior to his head coaching position, Molder served as the lead assistant for the men’s program from 2007-2011 at OKWU. His teams have advanced to the NAIA National Tournament six times in the seven years and within those trips included four Sweet 16’s, three Elite 8’s, two Final 4’s, and a National Championship in 2009.
Personally, Molder has been recognized as a top coach, earning the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the 2012-2013 season and was named NCCAA Central Region Coach of the Year for three consecutive years.
“As I look around, this is what makes this job special to me and my wife. It’s a family. We look at you guys different than just some people that we work with.”
-MARK MOLDER, MEN’S HEAD BASKETBALL COACH
Matt Harner and Josh Young will both serve as assistants for Molder’s squad.
“If someone told me at the age of 18-years-old that I would be the head coach here I probably would of laughed,” Molder said with a smile. “A university that has taken care of me for many years, I can’t say thanks enough.”
Accepting the newly vacant women’s head coaching position is Jason Jeschke. Prior to Oklahoma Wesleyan, Jeschke spent five years as a full-time assistant and three years as the junior varsity head coach at Southwestern College. He was previously a member of the men’s basketball team before injuries caused a switch to the sidelines where, subsequently, his dream of coaching became a reality.
During his five seasons coaching at SC, Jeschke helped the team earn four consecutive trips to the NAIA National Tournament. Jeschke coached four All-Americans, 18 KCAC Scholar-Athletes, and 26 KCAC All-Conference selections.
“Every single person who has welcomed my wife and I has been incredible. This family is unique. This is the best place to start my head-coaching career and I think it is one of the best jobs in the country. I have no doubt.”
-JASON JESCHKE, WOMEN’S HEAD BASKETBALL COACH
Ashley Jones will be assisting Jeschke during his first season with the Eagles. Jones is going into her fourth year with the program.
“She’s help me a ton,” Jeschke explained. “The transition process, learning a new group, learning a new institution, you need someone by your side and she’s been incredible.”
Jeschke explained his goal for his first season with the Eagles is to grow students in their faith, be as successful as they can on the court, and excel in the classroom.