Jacie Hoyt decided early in her coaching career it wasn’t worth fantasizing about a dream job or what her next step could be. Standing at the podium inside Gallagher-Iba Arena on Monday afternoon as the new head coach of the Oklahoma State’s women’s basketball team, Hoyt explained why.
“I can make my own plans and I can have a dream job, but ultimately, God is the author of my story,” she said. “I don’t really get to make my plans. He writes them for me. So, with that being said, I’ve always been really conscious to never really get caught up in having a dream job.”
It just so happens she found the dream job she was intentionally not thinking about at the very school she was originally committed to play for.
Hoyt had a stellar career playing for her mom, Shelly — a high school coaching legend in Kansas — and signed with Oklahoma State before a coaching change made her reconsider. She wound up playing at a junior college before transferring to Wichita State.
— OSU Cowgirl Basketball (@OSUWBB) March 21, 2022
An onslaught of serious injuries sidelined Hoyt for most of her college career. Having the game she loved taken away from her forced Hoyt to do some soul searching and brought her closer to God.
She grew up going to church and was familiar with the concept of having a personal relationship with God. The injuries made her realize how much she needed that relationship.
“It honestly just kind of took me falling to my knees and not having that game that I had put my whole life into since I was a little kid,” Hoyt said while discussing her faith journey on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2018. “And there was really just kind of nowhere for me to look but up at that point, and that’s when I really started to understand what that personal relationship looked like, finding fulfillment in something that this world could never offer me.”
In 2017, she became the head coach at the University of Missouri Kansas-City, and the youngest head coach in Division I women’s basketball. Hoyt went 81-65 in her five seasons in Kansas City, leading the Roos to a Western Athletic Conference regular-season championship in 2020. The Roos won more than 20 games in two of her final three seasons.
Overwhelmed with gratitude! God is good. Thankful to be a part of the #CowgirlFamily …
Let’s. Do. This! https://t.co/xzQhhU1iGd
— Jacie Hoyt (@CoachJacie) March 21, 2022
Hoyt didn’t need much convincing to take the Oklahoma State job, but specifically pointed to her conversation with men’s head coach Mike Boynton as the “final bow on the present.”
“When you have a men’s basketball coach who publicly professes his faith and cares about his players the way that he does, that’s special,” she said during her opening remarks. “That’s really, really special. And that also really aligns with me and the things that I value.”
Hoyt’s coaching philosophy is built on two things: faith and family. She sees family not just as her biological family or her players, but everyone associated with the Oklahoma State program.
When it comes to her faith, the 34-year-old focuses on living in a way that reflects what she believes.
“I feel such a strong sense of purpose every day that I wake up to just get to go and live the way that I think Jesus wants me to live, and that He would live,” she said on the podcast.
As her time at the podium on Monday was winding down, Hoyt once again referenced her faith and outlined the role it plays in how she views her responsibilities as a coach.
“I believe that God has given us all gifts and abilities, and I don’t take that lightly,” she said. “I believe that I am to steward those gifts and abilities and help draw that out of our players in a way that gets the most out of them. And that’s where I really believe we can take this program to another level.”
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