Gerber named NOC End men's basketball coach

Chris Gerber on the sidelines during a Northern Oklahoma College Enid men’s basketball game. Gerber was named the Jets’ new head coach on Wednesday.

ENID, Okla. — Chris Gerber has been named Northern Oklahoma College Enid men's basketball head coach the school announced on Wednesday.

Gerber, 31, has been a Jets assistant coach for the past three seasons.

He succeeds Aaron Butcher, who left after two seasons as the Jets' head coach to become the athletic director at Tippecanoe Valley High School in Butcher's home state of Indiana. Gerber's three years as an assistant included working under Greg Shamburg in his first season. The Jets are coming off a 17-15 campaign last season.

"I look forward to continuing the success and tradition I have learned from Coach Butcher and Coach Shamburg," Gerber said in a prepared statement. "More than anything, I am just excited to be with these players this year. Going into my fourth year at Northern, our expectations of competing on the court and in the classroom will stay the same. I'm really appreciative of the support and relationship with the Enid community and excited for the future of Jets' men basketball."

Northern Oklahoma College Athletic Director Alan Foster said Gerber's hiring was the culmination of a search that considered several candidates.

"I appreciate the search committee's effort in this endeavor," Foster said in the school's release announcing Gerber's hire. "Due to the NJCAA moving all games to the spring semester we felt like we could be more patient and diligent in our search. After an impressive group of candidates were considered we felt Chris was the right choice to lead the NOC Enid men's basketball program."

The NJCAA announced in July that it was moving winter sports to January 2021 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Butcher announced his departure as Jets head coach in late August.

Foster said Gerber's "knowledge and connection to the program will be beneficial in moving forward. I am excited for Chris to get his first opportunity to be a head coach here at NOC Enid and I look forward to what he and the Jets accomplish in the future."

Prior to joining the coaching staff at NOC Enid in 2017 Gerber spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Southwest Oklahoma State. He also was a volunteer coach at Bethany College in Kansas and served as the school's junior varsity head coach in 2014-15.

Originally from Conway Springs, Kan., Gerber graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports management and master's degree in sports management from SWOSU in 2018.

Gerber will be the second first-year head coach behind the bench this season for NOC Enid basketball. Kelli Jennings was named the Lady Jets head coach in early July following the departure of long time women's coach Scott Morris.

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Ruthenberg is sports editor for the Enid News & Eagle.

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