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OSU's Travis Ford now fifth among Big 12 coaches in experience on job

BY JOHN HELSLEY Staff Writer Modified: June 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm •  Published: June 9, 2011

Travis Ford is moving up.

Up in terms of tenure among basketball coaches in the Big 12 Conference, with a year of shifting landscape leaving him at No. 5 among the league's coaches in experience on the job.

Entering his fourth season in 2011-12, Ford will trail only Texas' Rick Barnes, Kansas' Bill Self, Baylor's Scott Drew and Kansas State's Frank Martin in league tenure.

With the basketball world swirling around him — Nebraska and Colorado have switched leagues and four of the remaining Big 12 schools switched coaches — Ford is finally settling in with the Cowboys.

“It takes time,” Ford said Thursday, as the conference held a summer teleconference with the league's coaches. “And time flies so fast, too.

“We're heading into Year 4, and it seems to fly by. But we're getting more settled in and it starts to feel more like home.”

And still, there's change.

Ford faces a shifting roster, with three newcomers — LeBryan Nash, Cezar Guerrero and Philip Jurick — figuring prominently into plans next season.

Ford faces a shifting strategy, too, with a move to a faster tempo and pace of play, on both ends of the floor.

And if managing his team isn't enough, there's the challenge of learning four new coaching foes and a revamped conference schedule that now features a double round-robin, 18-game format.

“I think it's exciting, very exciting,” Ford said. “I think it's going to put us up there as one of the top one or two leagues every year now. If you look at RPI rankings, when it's all said and done at the end of the year, you're going to see the Big 12 up there probably at 1 or 2 on an extremely consistent basis.”