Provided by Wayland Baptist University
Tory Bryant has resigned as head coach of the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens, citing a desire to get out of coaching and spend more time with his family.
Bryant, who has been the Flying Queens head coach the last six years, said the decision came after several months of reflection.
"I want the opportunity to spend more time with my family, my wife and especially my kids as they start to get to those ages when they become more active," Bryant said.
Bryant and his wife, Lee, have two children: Devyn, age 7, and Zeke, age 3.
"I want to do a better job of investing in the lives of my family," Bryant said. "Those are the people who I have the greatest amount of influence with and leadership on, and I need to spend the necessary amount of time with my family that allows me to do that."
Wayland Director of Athletics Dr. Greg Feris said he "understands and respects" Bryant's desire to have more time with his family.
"These are critical years for him and Lee to have with their children," Feris said. "It's the kind of man he is – family always first."
He added that Bryant will be missed.
"Coach Bryant is held in the highest personal regard by our athletic staff and student-athletes. We often use the catch phrase, 'Is the person the right fit for the job for the university?' I have no doubt that Coach Bryant was a great fit for us. He understood what the university stood for, what we were all about. He gave of himself in so many ways to the program. We thank him for the energy, effort and time he gave to both his team and the university."
Bryant, who said he plans to pursue a career in business, will continue to coach the Flying Queens, who ended the regular season on Saturday, at this week's Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament in Shawnee, Okla.
Feris said the search for a new coach "will begin immediately," and he hopes to "introduce our new coach to the university and the community in a matter of weeks."
A Plainview native, Bryant came to Wayland after serving as a student assistant coach at Lubbock Christian University, a graduate assistant coach at West Texas A&M University, an assistant coach at the University of Texas at Arlington and head girls' basketball coach at Lubbock Trinity High School, where his teams compiled a 96-19 record and won two TAPPS Class 4A state championships.
He became the 12th head coach of the Flying Queens in 2007, inheriting a team that had gone 9-22 and 12-18 the previous two seasons. In Bryant's six seasons, the Flying Queens have forged a win-loss record of 96-88. His most successful season as coach was his second year when the team went 22-12, was ranked No. 26 and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament.
So far this season, the Flying Queens – with no seniors, four freshmen and four new transfers – have compiled a 15-15 record. They went 7-9 in the Sooner Athletic Conference, tying for fourth place.
Bryant said his decision to resign was made purely as a result of his desire to spend more time with his family.
"Nothing about this year figured into wanting to leave coaching. It's about wanting to spend more time with my family," he said. "Record-wise, this season may not be one of the best seasons we've had, but I feel like I have really good kids. They're good on and off the floor and bring the right attitude and work ethic to practice. I've enjoyed this group tremendously, and I feel we've put a good product on the floor."
Bryant further said he's enjoyed his time at Wayland.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity that I was given six years ago by (WBU President) Dr. Paul Armes, (Vice President of Enrollment Management) Dr. Claude Lusk, Dr. Greg Feris and the administration at Wayland Baptist University. It's a wonderful place, and this has been a great opportunity (and) a great learning experience. I've developed a lot of good relationships with student-athletes as well as faculty, staff and administration at Wayland.
"I've had a good experience, and Wayland has been good to my family."
He said he's learned a lot about coaching and about himself over the past six years.
"I feel very fortunate to have been a part of each player's life over the last six years. The young ladies that I've coached have taught me some things about the game of basketball and about life. As I've grown as a coach, I've developed a better understanding of how to coach and how to communicate with student-athletes, and I've really tried to build relationships with them. It's taken me a little while to figure it out, but those relationships are the most important things. The last two or three years I've had a better understanding of that."
Bryant said he appreciates the support he's had from Flying Queens boosters, including former players and coaches.
"I'm especially thankful for Harley and Wilda Redin. They've been very supportive, as have Mike and Suzy Hutcherson. And Betty Donaldson (former Flying Queens player and ex-Wayland Vice President of Advancement) has been very helpful."
Bryant said he will miss being an active part of the women's basketball program at Wayland.
"Being involved in the history of the Flying Queens has meant a lot to me and my family, and there is no way I can ever give back what Wayland has given us."