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ORU Adds Binam, Samuels to Women's Basketball Staff

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 05/18/2012
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TULSA, Okla. - Head Coach Misti Cussen has announced the additions of Golden Eagle legend Krista Binam and Royce Samuels to the Oral Roberts University women’s basketball coaching staff. Both Binam and Samuels will begin their duties immediately.

Binam has spent the last nine seasons as a head coach at four high schools in the Eastern Oklahoma area. From 2003-06, Binam coached at Glenpool High School, leading the Warriors to a pair of 25-win seasons. Binam then spent four seasons at Coweta High School, taking the Tigers to the OSSAA State Tournament in 2007 and 2008.

Binam spent the 2010-11 season at Indianola High School, and most recently she led Owasso High School during the 2011-12 season.

For her high school career, Binam posted a record of 158-66.

Binam (formerly Ragan) is best known by Golden Eagle fans for her record-breaking collegiate career in the ORU navy and gold. From 1996-2002, Binam rewrote ORU’s record books and laid the groundwork for the program’s unprecedented level of success.

The Indianola native is a two-time Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year, and she earned Kodak All-American honors in 2002. Binam led ORU to a pair of Mid-Continent Conference championships and the first two NCAA Tournament bids in school history. She ended her career as the Mid-Con’s career scoring leader, with 2,152 points.

"It is a joy to bring Krista home to ORU and our women's basketball program, said Cussen. “During her time as a player, she set the standard for our teams on and off of the floor with her intensity and passion. I am confident that she will be a tremendous asset to our current players, and we are thrilled to have her rejoin the Golden Eagles."

Binam is married to former ORU men’s basketball player Nathan Binam, and the couple has a five-month-old daughter, Lakyn.

Samuels comes to ORU from the University of Detroit-Mercy, where he was an assistant coach for the 2010-11 season. While at Detroit, Samuels was a key cog in a team that posted 13 wins, including a 19-point victory over Big 10 program Michigan.

A longtime coach in the Amateur Athletic Union ranks, Samuels has tallied 18 years of experience at the AAU level. Most recently, Samuels was the head coach of Team Wisconsin, where he coached current University of Oklahoma standout Nicole Griffin.

Samuels also has collegiate coaching experience with the men’s programs at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and Olivet (Mich.) College, where he was a chief recruiter and in charge of the program’s offseason training schedules.

Samuels helped Wisconsin-Stout to a 14-11 season and a winning conference record during the 2002-03. During Samuels’ four-year tenure at Olivet, the Comets posted two seasons of double-digit victories and produced five players who earned All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association honors.

Samuels has also served at a number of high school stops, including Douglass High School in Oklahoma City and El Reno High School in El Reno, Okla.

Samuels is a native of El Reno and graduated from Wisconsin’s Mount Senario College in 1992 with degrees in Criminal Justice and Special Education. He has spent several years working in special education programs at several different schools.

"Having known Royce for over 25 years, I know we are getting a quality coach and person in this hire,” said Cussen. “Royce has an infectious enthusiasm that our players and university family are going to love. He has developed a great network of recruiting relationships through his years as a coach at different levels, and I know that he will be a great ambassador for our women's basketball program."

ORU posted a 20-11 record in 2011-12 and earned their third consecutive WNIT bid. The Golden Eagles open their first season as a Southland Conference member in November.
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