The National Christian College Athletic Association announced the addition of retired SAGU women’s basketball coach Arlon Beadles to the Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Beadles retired from SAGU in May 2015 after nearly 50 years as a coach.
Arlon Beadles coached men’s and women’s basketball for more than three decades in the NCCAA. Beadles amassed a long and successful career since graduating from Southern Nazarene University in 1964. No matter the role, whether Coach, Athletic Director, Dean of Students, NCCAA Regional Basketball Chair (14 years), or any other role in which Arlon served, his love for Christ was evident.
After coaching men’s basketball for 16 years, Coach Beadles took on a new and different adventure, coaching women at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia. Beadles led them to one South Region Championship and an appearance at the NCCAA National Championship, both in 2000. Arlon enjoyed coaching both men and women, and the challenges associated with each.
In 2005, Arlon and his wife, Mary, arrived at SAGU after stops at Southwestern High School, Oklahoma City Southwestern Junior College, Midwest City High School, Emmanuel College, Jimmy Swaggart Bible College, and Yale High School. The women’s program Beadles inherited struggled with wins on the court and retention was a daunting task. The Lions were struggled after a move to the NAIA and were averaging only a handful of wins a season. Under Coach Beadles’ guidance the women’s basketball program at SAGU experienced competitive growth and stability.
During Arlon’s time at SAGU, he led the women’s team to two NCCAA Central Region Championships, three NCCAA National Championship appearances, and one NAIA National Tournament. Coach Beadles was also named NCCAA Regional Coach of the Year six times and the Red River Athletic Conference Coach of the Year once. Off the court, Arlon was involved in ministry trips to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Africa, Louisiana, Arizona, and volunteered at Royal Family Kids Camp.
Coach Beadles enjoyed watching the program grow and stated, “There was a period when we only had 7 or 8 girls, but we won 22 or 23 games a year, and played in two national tournaments.” The highlight of Arlon’s career was a win over NCAA Division I Texas State University, with an overtime upset, 68-66. Coach Beadles is the only current SAGU coach to own a win over an NCAA Division I opponent.
Athletic Director Jesse Godding said, “Coach Beadles did a tremendous job of creating a complete women’s basketball program for SAGU. As a coach, he came to SAGU with a blueprint for making the program competitive on the court and has doggedly pursued that plan. He has been an example to the women he has coached and consistently showed them that life is bigger than basketball through missions trips and outreaches.”
“Arlon Beadles’ heart beats for the souls of student-athletes and has for over 45 years. He has won many games and hung his share of championship banners. However, it is the legacy of Christian husbands, wives, dads, and moms that now are growing the Kingdom of God that makes Arlon an inductee into the NCCAA Hall of Fame. He coached his players in life,” stated Dan Wood, NCCAA Executive Director.
In Beadles final season at SAGU, he led his team to a 5th place finish at the 2015 NCCAA National Championship. In his final game he beat Grace College, 51-47.