CLAREMORE– Rogers State Director of Athletics Chris Ratcliff announced that Kyle Bent has been named the head coach for the RSU women’s basketball program, becoming the fourth head coach in the program’s history.
“When we brought Kyle on campus, his preparation, composure and enthusiasm elevated him above everyone else,” Ratcliff said. “We knew he wanted to be at Rogers State as our next coach based on his passion and determination, and this was what Sara and I were looking for in our women’s basketball coach. We wanted someone that was a proven winner and wanted to take our program to the next level. When you look at Kyle’s body of work, it is very impressive. Kyle has been super successful in his eight seasons as a head coach. He has won a lot of games against top teams in the NAIA and junior college ranks. His teams play at a high level and they play under control. After watching several games of him and his team on film, I can see why he has experienced this level of success. I am excited about the future of Hillcat basketball under his leadership.”
Bent joins RSU after four seasons as the head coach at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tennessee. In his four seasons, Bent guided the RedHawks to four straight NAIA National Tournament appearances and posted an overall record of 95-38 (71.4 percent), leaving as the all-time winningest coach in Martin Methodist history. Bent totaled five NAIA All-Americans and 10 All-Southern State Athletic Conference picks in his four years at MMC.
“First and foremost I am honored and excited to be given the opportunity to join the Hillcat family,” Bent said. “I’d like to thank Mr. Ratcliff and the RSU Athletic Department for offering me the chance to pursue this endeavor. Looking at the women’s basketball landscape, I see endless opportunities for our student-athletes. The foundation that is already in place provides us the chance to quickly build toward sustained success. Departing Martin Methodist College difficult decision, and I will carry nothing but positive memories with me, but I am excited to start this new chapter in my coaching career at RSU.”
During the 2017-18 season, Bent led Martin Methodist to its first-ever Southern States Athletic Conference championship with a 15-1 mark in league play and a school record 27 wins overall. Bent was named the Southern State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, and two RedHawks earned NAIA All-American honors.
In his first season at Martin Methodist, Bent saw immediate success with a 25-8 record, a school record before his 2017-18 team broke that mark. Bent and his RedHawk team knocked off the highest-rank opponent in program history in his second season in 2015-16, defeating No. 2-ranked Freed-Hardeman. The RedHawks made their first-ever SSAC Championship game appearance in 2015-16 and finished with a 22-12 record.
Before his time at Martin Methodist, Bent served as the head women’s basketball coach for Danville Area Community College for four seasons. He turned around a struggling DACC program and posted two consecutive 22-win seasons in 2012-13 and 2013-14. After going 3-26 in his first season in 2010-11, Bent registered a 63-31 record during his final three seasons. Under Bent’s tutelage, he totaled three All-Americans and nine all-conference selections in his four seasons as the head coach of DACC. He was named the NJCAA Region 24 Coach of the Year after 2011-12 season when the Lady Jaguars posted a 16-win improvement from the previous season.
Prior to DACC, Bent coached the University of Illinois Women’s Club Basketball Team during the 2019-10 season. The Illinois club team went 36-8 after winning only two games the previous season. Illinois won the National Collegiate Club Basketball Championship during Bent’s time as head coach.
Bent earned masters and bachelors degrees in sport management from the University of Illinois Urbana-Campaign.
Bent takes over the RSU women’s basketball program following the departure of Bobby Cope, who served as the head coach for four seasons. Cope resigned to pursue a career opportunity outside of college athletics.