Kats add former OK State standout to MBB staff

SHSU AthleticsSam Houston State head coach Jason Hooten recently announced the addition of Phil Forte, pictured above, to the Bearkats' coaching staff.

Sam Houston State has made an addition to its men’s basketball coaching staff, with the Bearkats bringing on an assistant coach that reminds head coach Jason Hooten of himself at the start of his career.

Hooten announced this week that the Kats have added Phil Forte to their coaching staff. Forte — a former standout at Oklahoma State — recently completed his second season as a graduate student manager at Saint Louis University, where he received a master’s in organizational leadership.

“We are extremely happy to add Phil to our staff and Bearkat family,” Hooten said. “Phil will bring a great amount of energy to our program and help these student-athletes continue to get better. When going through the interview process, a lot of Phil’s attributes reminded me of myself 26 years ago when I was starting off in this business.”

Forte enjoyed a prolific career at Oklahoma State, where he reached the NCAA Tournament four times and finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made. He was named the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year as a sophomore, and was a third-team all-conference selection the following year. As a senior during the 2016-17 season, Forte averaged 13.3 points per game while shooting 95.5 percent from the free-throw line — the best in the country that year and the fourth-highest single-season mark in NCAA history.

Prior to his time with the Cowboys, Forte starred at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, where he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Texas Class 5A State Tournament after leading his team to a state championship.

Back home in Texas, Forte is excited to get to work with the Bearkats.

“I’m ecstatic to become a part of Coach Hooten’s staff,” Forte said. “Sam Houston State has proven to consistently be successful year after year. I’m excited about the opportunity to help contribute to the continued success of the Bearkat program.”