Utah Valley University's entrance sign

Utah Valley University’s entrance sign is pictured before Utah Valley University’s 76th Commencement Ceremony on May 4, 2017, in Orem.

Nevada’s Todd Okeson named assistant men’s basketball coach

OREM — UVU men’s basketball head coach Mark Madsen has announced the hiring of Todd Okeson as an assistant coach on his men’s basketball staff at Utah Valley. Okeson comes to UVU after working on the basketball staff at the University of Nevada.

“I am thrilled to welcome Todd Okeson to the UVU staff,” said Madsen. “As a player, Todd was one of the smartest and toughest point guards in the country before his successful pro career in Europe. As a leader, Todd has spent eight years as a staff member at top programs across the western United States. As a person, Todd brings the highest level of integrity and tenacity to everything that he does. Todd brings success everywhere he goes. I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Todd, his wife Natalie, and their three children to Utah.”

Okeson most recently served as the assistant director of basketball operations for the Wolf Pack. He helped Nevada to a third consecutive Mountain West Conference regular season title and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Wolf Pack wrapped up the 2018-19 season with a 29-5 overall record and an impressive 15-3 mark in MWC play. While at Nevada, Okeson worked with JaVale McGee who was selected by the Washington in the first round of the 2008 NBA draft with the 18th overall pick.

Prior to Nevada, Okeson spent two seasons as the director of basketball operations at the University of Hawaii. Before his time at UH, he was an assistant coach at Southern Utah from 2012-16. He was also named the interim head coach at SUU during a coaching transition in 2016.

Prior to Southern Utah, Okeson spent three years at the University of Georgia under coach Mark Fox as a graduate assistant and then as an operations assistant (2009-12). He also boasts experience in the pro ranks as an operations assistant with the Reno Bighorns of the NBDL (2008-09).

“I cannot thank coach Madsen enough for this amazing opportunity,” said Okeson. “The experience he brings to his position is second to none. I can’t wait to get to work for such a great basketball mind and quality person. I’m incredibly grateful for the chance to be a part of the UVU athletics family, and I am committed to helping advance our program. On behalf of my family, we look forward to being a part of such a wonderful community. Go Wolverines!”

Okeson and his wife Natalie have a son, Gaines, and two daughters Micah and Campbell.

— UVU Athletics

Coach Nyhus set to make history at U.S. Senior Women’s Open

OREM — Head Utah Valley University women’s golf coach Sue Nyhus will mark the first player in history — male or female — to have competed in every USGA event offered to her this week when she takes part at the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

The U.S. Senior Women’s Open will run Thursday to Sunday. The tournament will mark the final event of a historic career for Nyhus in which she will have now qualified and competed in nine different USGA championships: U.S. Girls’ Junior, U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Women’s Mid-Am, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, U.S. Women’s State Team, U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

The Wolverine women’s golf coach qualified for the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open after claiming medalist honors by carding an 80 in frigid conditions last month at Glenmoor Country Club in Englewood, Colorado.

— UVU Athletics

Nyhus will begin her quest to win the Senior Women’s Open on Thursday, as she’s set to tee-off at 10:40 a.m. MT with fellow competitors Laurie Rinker and Brenda Pictor. She then set to tee-off in round number two at 5:30 a.m. MT on Friday. Saturday and Sunday’s final two rounds are scheduled to be televised on FS1.

Nyhus is one of three current collegiate coaches in the field this year, as San Diego State’s Leslie Spalding and Minnesota’s Michele Redman have also both qualified to compete at the second annual senior championship event.

— UVU Athletics