Selecting UST's 2nd ever Men's Basketball coach was not difficult, as the Celts turned to University of St. Thomas alum and ex student-athlete Anthony Medina. During his 3 year career at UST Medina was a 2-time All-Conference player who shot over 40% from 3-point range for his career. He graduated from UST as the All-Time leader in points, rebounds, minutes played, games played, and 3-pointers made. Medina, originally from El Paso, Texas, played his high school basketball at The Woodlands High School before joining the UST team in their inaugural year. He graduated in 2012 from UST with a BA in English.
"The University of St. Thomas community welcomes back Anthony Medina who was one of our most outstanding student-athletes" UST President Dr. Robert Ivany said. "We are gratified to see one of our graduates return to his alma mater to dedicate his energy and knowledge for the success of the basketball team and for the pride of our campus community. "
In addition to an outstanding collegiate playing career, Coach Medina brings his knowledge of player development to the head coaching position. Throughout his time at St. Thomas, Medina served as the Program Director for CUTtheNETS Basketball Academy in The Woodlands, Texas. In addition, he spent 7 summers working for Coach Krzyzewski at the Duke Basketball Camp. Following his graduation from UST, Coach Medina was hired as a Graduate Assistant at Missouri Western State University.
At MWSU his primary duties included player development, recruiting, scouting, academic success and community outreach. In his time at Western he recruited 2 All-Conference players and organized many service projects for the Men's Basketball team. After graduating with a Masters of Applied Sciences in Sports and Fitness Management in May of 2014, Medina returned to The Woodlands as varsity assistant at Oak Ridge High School. In addition to his coaching duties, he worked with both the Special Education and English departments as the Developmental Reading teacher and campus Dyslexia Specialist.
Coach Medina is passionate about his return to UST and the basketball program, "I could not be more excited to be the next Men's Basketball coach at St. Thomas. My time at St. Thomas as a player was a dream come true and I hope to provide that same experience for student athletes in the future. I would like to thank Dr. Robert Ivany, Vice President Patricia McKinley, Coach Todd Smith, and The University of St. Thomas for the opportunity to represent my alma mater."
Coach Medina takes over a Men's Basketball program that has earned a reputation as a perennial leader in the Red River Conference. During the six years since the team's inaugural season 2009-10 season, Men's Basketball has achieved a record of 101-77. The Celts improved every season for the first five years, culminating in two straight trips to Kansas City and the NAIA National Tournament in 2012-13 and 2013-14. The 2012-13 season was memorable as St. Thomas finished 28-6, 2nd in the Red River Athletic Conference regular season and then won the RRAC Post season tourney when the team defeated RRAC regular season champion SAGU 67-51 on its home floor.
With the hiring of Coach Medina, former Men's Basketball Coach Todd Smith will move into the role of full time Director of Athletics in order to supervise and oversee the 115 athletes who will compete for the Celts in the upcoming year. The University of St. Thomas athletics department was founded in 2006 with the start of women's volleyball and has grown to seven teams competing in the Red River Athletic Conference within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. During this period, athletics has achieved widespread success with 10 NAIA National Tournament appearances; Volleyball (4), Men's Soccer (2), Men's Basketball (2) and Men's Golf (2), in addition to selection as the recipient of the RRAC Sportsmanship Award for three consecutive years. In 2016-17 UST will add men's and women's Cross Country to increase the total number of programs to 9.