20170429_spt_Paul Mills

Assistant coach Paul Mills (right) has been named Oral Roberts head basketball coach Friday afternoon

Staff photo — Rod Aydelotte, file

Longtime Baylor assistant Paul Mills has been named Oral Roberts’ head basketball coach.

Mills agreed to a five-year contract and will replace Scott Sutton who was fired after an 8-22 season. Sutton had coached 18 years at Oral Roberts, compiling a 328-247 record.

Mills served 14 years on Baylor coach Scott Drew’s staff, including the last eight as an assistant coach and the previous six as director of basketball operations.

Drew was excited to see his longtime assistant land his first college head coaching job.

“Coach Mills is a perfect fit at Oral Roberts University,” Drew said. “For 14 seasons he played a critical role in our success at Baylor, recruiting relentlessly, developing our players on and off the court, and being a spiritual leader in our program. He is more than ready for this challenge.”

During Mills’ tenure, the Bears reached the NCAA tournament seven times and the NIT twice. Baylor has made two Elite Eight appearances and two Sweet 16 appearances, and won the NIT in 2013.

A 1996 Texas A&M graduate, Mills was head coach at North Belt Christian from 1996-99 and Fort Bend Baptist Academy from 1999-2002. He served one year as Rice’s director of basketball operations before coming to Baylor.

“I am honored to accept this role of representing this historic institution, its students and its mission,” said Mills. “Making this commitment today is a highlight of my career and I look forward with excitement to the basketball season directly ahead.”

ORU athletic director Mike Carter was glad he could find a coach with Mills’ background and experience.

“This is an exciting day for ORU basketball,” said Carter. “Coach Mills has a wealth of top level NCAA experience and comes to us fully prepared to advance the ORU men’s basketball program to new heights.”

BEAR FACTS — Baylor has set a home-and-home series with Wichita State, playing at the Ferrell Center Dec. 2, 2017, and in Wichita on Dec. 1, 2018.

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