By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-Garden City women’s basketball is getting a complete facelift for the upcoming season.
A month into his inaugural tenure as Head Coach, Antwain Scales is remaking the Broncbuster program in his own image, hiring Coleman Bender as his lead assistant.
“He is a very fundamental coach,” Scales said. “He has tremendous attention to detail and is as persistent in recruiting as anyone that I know.”
Coleman joins the Garden City staff after two seasons as an assistant at Chesapeake Junior College in Wye Mills, MD. where he was in charge of offensive play calling and player development. During his time there, the Skipjacks went 40-13, earning a berth in the 2018-2019 National Tournament. He also tutored two All-Region players and the tournament MVP.
“Coach Coleman shares my vision,” Scales added.
Before Chesapeake, Bender spent one season on the bench at St. Louis Community College, working in guard development, scouting and recruiting. During his lone year as an assistant, the Archers finished 25-4 and were ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation. They made a deep run in the Region 16 tournament, and he coached the Region Player of the Year. He also spent two seasons prior to that, coaching at Colby.
“He’s such a selfless person,” Scales explained. “He’s all about uplifting the program. I’ve known him for years, and he’s all about discipline and accountability.”
Bender built a lot of those characteristics thanks to a 20-year career in the United States Army, working as an Armament Repairer and a facility manager. During his service, he was deployed three times to Bosnia (1996), Baghdad, Iraq (2004-2005), and Mosul, Iraq (2007-2009). After retiring, he coached the All-Army women’s basketball team, guiding them to a gold medal in the Armed Forces Tournament. He was also chosen to be an assistant for the team that represented the United States in the World Basketball Championships. They brought home the bronze medal. In addition, he has experience coaching at the High-School level, working as an assistant at Fayetteville Christian School in Fayetteville, NC and at Petersburg in Petersburg, VA.
Bender earned his Master of Science in Sports Management from Liberty University in 2014 and before that, received his Bachelor’s in technical management from Devry University. He is also a member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and National Association of Basketball Coaches. He has one daughter, Alexas, 19, who runs track at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.