Bob Funk Jr. was among hundreds of Oklahomans that celebrated No. 14-seeded Mercer’s 78-71 upset of third-seeded Duke on Friday afternoon in the opening round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
Funk, CEO of Prodigal, which operates the Oklahoma City Barons Triple-A hockey team for the Edmonton Oilers, played for Mercer coach Bob Hoffman for four years when Hoffman coached Oklahoma Baptist University in the 1990s.
“For him to pull off this upset, I feel so ecstatic for him,” Funk said. “He’s a great guy who is a great coach. I learned so much from him, not just basketball, but life.”
Funk watched Mercer’s game Friday on television with his father at the family’s Express headquarters in Oklahoma City.
“We were almost moved to tears,” Funk Jr. said. “It’s a great day for Bob and everybody who knows him. Everyone knows how hard he’s worked for something like this.”
Hoffman, an Oklahoma City native who played basketball at Putnam City High School and OBU, began his college career by leading Southern Nazarene to a women’s NAIA title. He coached nine years at OBU, highlighted by two national runner-up finishes before he moved to the Division I ranks.
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