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Men’s basketball coach hired at Southern’s Boyce College

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Acclaimed Kentucky high school coach Bryce Hibbard has been hired as the first men’s basketball coach at Boyce College, the undergraduate school of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Hibbard, who has 20 years of coaching experience including a Kentucky state championship in 1997 and a state coach-of-the-year award in 2001, signed a contract with Boyce May 11 at the Louisville campus.

“There are two things that I love in my life,” Hibbard said. “And that is Jesus Christ and that relationship and then basketball. Those have been my two favorite things. … The opportunity to put them both together, to coach some young men and do some ministry, was a no-brainer.”

Hibbard coached Eastern High School and Male High School, both in Louisville, until leaving coaching last year. He remains a science teacher at Male and hopes to become a school administrator. Hibbard is a speaker with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and leads basketball-themed international mission trips.

Boyce, whose nickname is the Bulldogs, will begin play with the 2006-07 season. The Bulldogs will compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association’s Division II Mid-East region along with teams such as Cincinnati Bible College, Kentucky Christian College and Temple Baptist College.

James Scroggins, dean of Boyce College, said an athletic program complements Boyce’s main goal of training ministers of the Gospel.

“We think athletics teaches character,” he said. “We think it teaches toughness. We think it provides an opportunity for men to be masculine and to model a masculine Christianity, which is entirely biblical and appropriate and is something that we’re trying to actually promulgate at Boyce College.”

Boyce is not focused on athletics, but its goal is to excel in every endeavor it undertakes — including basketball, Scroggins said.

“If we are going to have a team, our goal would be to have the best team that we could and to win the league,” he said. “Whether or not that ever happens, I don’t know. But we wouldn’t play if we weren’t trying to win. That’s for sure. That’s not only common sense, but that’s biblical and godly to try to win.”

Boyce will play its home games in the 300-seat gymnasium in Southern’s health and recreation center. The Bulldogs will wear the school colors: red and blue.

Hibbard cited Colossians 3:23 — “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men.” — as an important verse for his life, emphasizing that the Boyce team will take the verse to heart and play to glorify God.

“The focus is glorifying God,” he said. “We’ll do our best. I love Colossians 3:23, so I guarantee our team will put [its] heart on the line for God and not for men.”

Scroggins said the school will consider adding other sports eventually and will regularly evaluate whether sports are fitting into Boyce’s mission of training ministers.

“We certainly have a goal to add some women’s sports and maybe a couple of other men’s sports,” Scroggins said.