The 2015-16 Pioneer men’s basketball season marks the beginning of another exciting year on the court, not only for the team, but especially for Coach Rolando De La Barrera. This is his 10th season with Western, and the last decade is full of many accomplishments for the squad and coach.
Under De La Barrera’s leadership, the 2014-15 squad posted a 14-14 record and missed the Region 2 Tournament for the first time only during his tenure. Western’s 2013-14 squad was pre-season ranked #22 in the NJCAA poll. All of the sophomores on that team graduated and eight signed scholarship letters to four-year colleges. Coach De La Barrera holds an on-court record of 172-106 at Western and a career record of 441-212. In 2008-09 the team posted the highest national ranking in school history as #14 in the NJCAA poll and tied the school’s 24-win victory mark set in the late 70’s. De La Barrera was also chosen Co-Region 2 Coach of the Year for his accomplishments that year.
Since De La Barrera’s arrival in 2006, the Pioneers have averaged 19 victories per season and advanced to the Regional Tournament eight out of nine years. In his time, 45 players have moved on to four-year colleges and 14 have advanced to the NCAA D1 level. “In 10 years Western has managed to have a consistent competitive team. We have only had one losing season during my tenure here,” said De La Barrera.
From 2009 to 2012 Coach De La Barrera served as the Pioneer women’s basketball coach. Under his coaching the team improved its overall win total each year, culminating with a double-digit win column his final season and an upset of 2012 Region II Champion and nationally ranked North Eastern
De La Barrera said, “Time has flown, because I am where I always wanted to be.”
Coach De La Barrera came to Western Oklahoma State from New Mexico State University where he served as Director of Basketball Operations for NBA great, Reggie Theus. De La Barrera was part of a staff that turned a 6-24 team into a Western Athletic Conference contender (16-14).
Prior to NMSU, De La Barrera served as the top assistant for Jeff Kidder at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah for the 2004/2005 season. Dixie State was NJCAA pre-season ranked # 1 in the country by the Sporting News.
The community is invited to meet the 2015-16 Pioneer teams on Monday, October 26 at “Meet the Pioneers” beginning at 6 p.m. in the WOSC gym. Patrons will encounter the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the Pioneer cheerleaders. Join Western and enjoy free food, a slam dunk contest, face painting and the excitement of Pioneer sports. In addition, one of the Pioneer cheerleaders will get a pie in the face, door prizes will be given, and Western spirit shirts will be on sale. This is a family event for all.
The Pioneers begin their season October 30 versus New Mexico Military Institute at Hobbs. Pioneer fans can catch the men’s team in action November 10 at their first home gave versus Frank Phillips College in the WOSC Gym at 7 p.m. The women’s team will play prior to the men at 5 p.m. For a complete schedule of games and team roster, visit wosc.edu/mensbasketball.
Reach Judith Meyer at 580-477-7701