— Courtesy of Weatherford College
A few months ago Mark Osina thought his summer months would be spent relaxing. That was before he returned as men’s basketball coach of the Weatherford College Coyotes.
Now, he’s spending much of his time recruiting as he begins the work to return the program to the national prominence it held previously under his guidance, from 1991 to 2008.
“Recruiting, scheduling, I was supposed to have 90 days off,” Osina said with a chuckle.
Osina was athletic director at Class 2A Millsap High School. Midway through the season he became the interim head coach of the Coyotes, and once the season was over, he accepted the job full-time and immediately began the work to turn them around from the 4-20 season they posted in the 2012-13 season.
Osina has two returning players from that squad, 6-foot-2-inch Nolan Cass from the Woodlands and 6-foot-3-inch Kevin Franceschi from France.
But he’s wasted no time in making what he considers strong additions.
Osina recently signed 6-foot-4-inch Converse Wagner High School graduate Anthony Roberson, whose father played at basketball at New Mexico State and mother played volleyball at NMSU.
Anthony hopes to follow in the footsteps of his brother Andre, who played at Colorado and was recently taken in the first round of the NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Roberson also has a sister who plays volleyball at the University of Texas, another who plays at Texas Tech, and a third sister at Colorado University, who was the Pac 12 Freshman of the Year.
Among Osina’s other recruits are 6-foot-10-inch Lucas Dos Santos from Brazil and 6-foot-9-inch Thaddeus Smith from Washington, D.C. There’s also 6-foot-7-inch Timotis Kuckailis from Lithuania and Sam Osina, the coach’s 6-foot-6-inch nephew from The Woodlands.
But Coach Osina is going for more than height with his recruits. He’s also bringing in Quentin Henderson (6 feet) from Houston Klein Forest, Chris Howard (6 feet 1 inch) from Arlington Bowie, Juozas Balcinuas (6 feet 2 inches) from Chicago and Alton Favors (6 feet 3 inches) from Haltom.
And he’s not through. There’s still room for a couple more scholarship players and a few walk-ons.
“All the NCAA D-1s are out. You’ve got to work those phones,” said Osina. “You go to the gym, wherever you can see them.
“If we can get a couple more good ones, along with the ones we have now, we could be fine. You’re never sure until they’re actually here, and I’ve even had some stay a week and go home, but I like what we’ve gotten so far.”