OU men's basketball: Mercer coach Bob Hoffman has deep Oklahoma roots

The Putnam City High and Oklahoma Baptist graduate has 500 victories as a college coach.
by Ryan Aber Published: December 1, 2013

After Sampson left for Indiana, Hoffman coached in the ABA and in the NBA's D-League before taking the job at Mercer in 2008.

Hoffman was hired at Mercer by another Oklahoma Baptist grad — school president William Underwood.

Although the pair attended the same school, they didn't know each other until Hoffman interviewed for the Mercer job. Hoffman graduated OBU in 1979, the same year Underwood arrived in Shawnee as a freshman.

Hoffman has continued to recruit the state.

There are two Oklahomans on the Bears' roster — Monty Brown and Phillip Leonard.

Brown, from Mounds, is averaging 3.3 points and 4.4 rebounds off the bench.

The 6-foot-11 center played at Liberty Mounds before finishing high school at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn.

Leonard, a 6-2 guard, is averaging 6.8 points off the bench.

He helped Tulsa Union to the 2012 Class 6A title and a perfect 29-0 season.

Leonard played at Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa last season before signing with Mercer.

by Ryan Aber
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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