By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Allen Community College offered Northern Oklahoma College Enid assistant men’s basketball coach Ryan Mahoney two things he couldn’t have with the Jets.
• No teaching responsibilities.
• Being only an hour away from his hometown of Giard, Kan., where his mother still resides.
Which is why he accepted the assistant coach’s position at Allen. Mahoney and his wife, Katie, are moving to Iola, Kan., today
“It was just a better opportunity as a whole,’’ Mahoney said. “I’m excited to be more of a full-time coach. I’m going to be able to focus more attention on my coaching, which was what I wanted to do.’’
Being closer to home “played a factor in my decision for sure,’’ he said.
“It was a very difficult and tough decision to make,’’ Mahoney said. “All the friends I made at the college ... the hardest thing was to tell the guys that I was going to be gone. I wish nothing but the best for coach (Greg) Shamburg and the guys in the future.’’
Mahoney, a Wichita State graduate, had been at the school for three years. It was his first coaching job. The Jets were 46-20 over the last two seasons after going 16-17 his first year.
Shamburg said Mahoney will be missed.
“He did a good job recruiting kids for us,’’ Shamburg said. “This is going to be a good situation for him since it’s closer to home.’’
Shamburg said he hopes to announce Mahoney’s replacement by next week.
While happy at NOC Enid, Mahoney said it was difficult to juggle coaching and teaching seven credit hours of classes at the college level.
“Your mornings are basically filled with teaching, grading papers and preparing your lectures, which takes away from your coaching,’’ he said.
He was teaching Introduction to Coaching, Introduction to HPER (Health, Physical Education and Recreation) and weight training, physical fitness and racquetball.
With the Jets making road trips as long as four hours during the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference season, the double duty became a mental grind.
“It was very difficult when you’re getting home after midnight and you have to be in the classroom at 8,’’ Mahoney said.
“The small college guys don’t get the recognition they deserve,’’ Mahoney said. “It teaches you time management. You have a lot of responsibilities. Handling those the past three years has helped shaped me as a coach.’’
He said he learned “a tremendous amount’’ from Shamburg, who has been NOC Enid’s only coach in its 13-year existence.
“I not only learned basketball, but life in general and academics,’’ Mahoney said. “I definitely learned how to communicate with kids and parents.
The three years, he said, were a learning experience in everything from recruiting, scouting, coaching, academic advisory and weight training.
“I have a good grasp on everything that goes on in college athletics,’’ Mahoney said, “and not just basketball. Hopefully, it will help me down the road. I was given the opportunity to oversee the weight room. I feel very confident now in my ability to run a weight program at the college level.’’
His biggest “accomplishment,’’ though was meeting then Lady Jets assistant Katie Snodgrass, whom he married during the Christmas break last year.
“That would be my best memory from here,’’ he said. “It’s like the perfect match. She understood what I was going through.’’
Mahoney will have a little bit of Enid awaiting him at Allen, which went 6-25 last season. The Red Devils are coached by one-time Enid resident Andy Shaw, who went on to star at Edmond Santa Fe and walk on at Oklahoma State. Shaw is entering his second season as the head coach.
Mahoney said he will leave the Jets with “hundreds of amazing memories.’’