Former Oklahoma City University and Oral Robert's men's basketball coach Ken Trickey died Tuesday morning at the age of 79.
Trickey served as OCU coach from 1979-81, leading the Chiefs to the 1981 Midwestern City Conference Tournament championship. Trickey's career had stops at Middle Tennessee State, Oral Roberts, Iowa State and OCU.
Trickey's four-year college record stood at 299-240 in 18 years. Trickey favored a high-scoring, run-and-gun approach to basketball. Trickey's OCU teams averaged 83.3 points a game and surpassed 100 points nine times while other teams were typically scoring in the low 70s.
OCU won its first basketball conference tournament championship, beating Xavier 82-76 for the Midwestern City Conference Tournament title March 8, 1981 at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati. Carl Henry and Rubin Jackson of OCU became all-tournament choices and first-team all-league selections in 1980-81. Jackson was also named co-conference player of the year, scoring 24.8 points a game to rank sixth in NCAA Division I.
As OCU coach, Trickey posted a 27-30 record, 10-6 in conference play. He led OCU to the conference tournament semifinals in 1980. Jackson and Ernie Hill became all-Midwestern City Conference, while Henry made the all-freshman team in 1979-80.
The Midwestern City Conference is now known as the Horizon League. OCU became a charter member of the league, remaining in the Midwestern City Conference from 1979-85.
A native of Cairo, Ill., Trickey scored 1,465 career points during his playing career at Middle Tennessee State. He became a four-time all-conference performer. He also was captain of the first Blue Raider basketball team to play at the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
After graduation and coaching at the high school level, he became head Middle Tennessee State basketball coach in 1965. He made an indelible mark on Blue Raider basketball with numerous promotions that attracted fans to watch his eye-popping, fast-break style of play.
Trickey's Middle Tennessee team beat Oral Roberts 115-98 on Dec. 2, 1968, prompting Rev. Roberts to recruit him as head coach. Trickey went on to lead Oral Roberts to the NCAA's Elite Eight in 1974. His record at ORU was 214-116 in two stints there from 1969-74 and 1987-93. Darrel Johnson's OCU team beat ORU twice during the 1990-91 season en route to the NAIA Division I title – 116-114 the first time, then 104-102 the second.
Trickey became a member of the athletic hall of fame at Middle Tennessee State and ORU.