Ken Trickey, former Oral Roberts University men’s basketball coach, has passed away at the age of 79.
Trickey died on the morning of December 4 from complications of cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. According to the obituary on his website, Trickey passed peacefully at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Trickey began coaching the ORU men’s basketball team in 1969. He posted at least 20 wins in each of his first five years as coach, and led ORU to three postseason appearances. In 1974, ORU got as far as the Elite Eight in that year’s NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. Trickey finished his coaching career with a 214-116 record and was the first coach inducted to the ORU athletics Hall of Fame.
“Ken Trickey was a pioneer in the industry in terms of offensive basketball,” said Mark Rutland, ORU athletics director. “He brought significant recognition to the university because of his success at ORU, and his program put ORU athletics on the national map in the 1970’s. We are grateful for his significant contributions to ORU athletics and will miss him.”
Trickey was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and grew up in Cairo, Illinois. He played basketball at Middle Tennessee State College and served in the U.S. Army Armored Division at Fort Knox. Trickey worked his way up from a high school basketball coach to head coach at Middle Tennessee, where he recruited the first black athletes to play at the college.
“I was saddened to hear about Coach Trickey’s passing,” said Scott Sutton, the current ORU men’s basketball coach. “He was so supportive of me and my time here. When you talk about the history of ORU athletics, the first person you think of is Ken Trickey and what he meant, not only to the men’s basketball program, but the athletics department in general. His success in such a short period of time was remarkable. To take a team that is less than 10 years in existence and take them to within a game of the final four is amazing.”
(Image courtesy ORU Media Relations)