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Talby Justus
Talby  Justus

Assistant Coach


WBB: Lady Mavs making stand on defense

UTA was seventh in the Sun Belt Conference last season in scoring defense.

Talby Justus joined the Lady Mavericks as an assistant coach prior to the 2013-14 season. 

Justus holds a primary focus on the defensive end of the ball as well as holding duties in recruiting, scouting, academic monitoring and helps develop the Bluebloods, UTA's male practice squad. 

Under his direction, UTA women's basketball received its first academic award in more than 10 years as the Lady Mavs were earned the Sun Belt's Academic Achievement award for having the highest GPA in the conference for 2013-14. 

Justus also helped in the team's resurgence. The Lady Mavericks were named the top recruiting class in the conference for the 2013-14 season by Dan Olsen Collegiate Girls Basketball Report (54th in Division I). The squad completed the largest turnaround in program history, as well as in NCAA Division I after having a 14-win improvement between the 2013-14 season to the 2014-15 season and earned a spot in the SBC Championship. 

With a focus on defense, Justus helped the Lady Mavs acehived a top-ranked defense. UTA was eight in the nation in 2014-15 in scoring defense and was 20th in field-goal percentage defense. 

Prior to joining the UTA staff, Justus spent three seasons as a member of the New Mexico State Junior College coaching staff. 

In his first year assisting with the women's basketball program, the Lady Thunderbirds set four new program records. In 2012 the Lady Thunderbirds went 32-5, won their first ever WJCAC Conference Championship, then went on to win one of the toughest Region tournaments in the Nation. Winning The Region 5 Tournament qualified them for the NJCAA Div. 1 National Tournament in Salina, KS.

At the National Tournament, the Lady Thunderbirds went 3-1 and finished fifth in the country. These accomplishments were new benchmarks for the rising program.

In 2013 the Lady Thunderbirds split the WJCAC Conference Title and went 23-5. Justus' combined record at NMJC is 55-10. In his final season, he helped coach the Lady Thunderbirds to their fourth-straight regional berth.

Prior to his move to the collegiate level, the Stillwater, Oklahoma native worked in the high school ranks, most recently at Ripley High School. He built the girls program at Ripley into a respected program by going 68-18 the past three seasons with a trip to the Area Tournament and two conference championships.

He spent three years previous at Glencoe High School where he led that program to the first state championship in school history in 2006 and in 2007 led them to the State Runner-up. He finished his tenure at Glencoe with a record of 76-17 and led the state in points allowed per game for three straight years.

Justus was one of four finalists for Oklahoma's Boys Basketball Coach of the Year in 2006 and named by his peers the District II Basketball Coach of the Year in 2007.

In 2006, Justus was asked to coach in the Oklahoma All-Star Games. He was also named the Cimarron Valley Conference Coach of the Year on four different occasions.

Justus played four years of college basketball. He first attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College in Tonkawa, Okla., then finished his collegiate career at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas.

During his tenure at Tabor, he was named KCAC All-Conference and made an Elite Eight and Final Four appearance in the NAIA II National Tournament in 1996 and 1997. On May 15, 2010 Tabor College inducted the 1996-97 team into the Tabor College Hall of Fame.

During his high school career, at Pawnee High School, Justus played for his father, Harley Justus, who has coached in Oklahoma for more than 35 years.

Justus earned his Bachelor's Degree from Tabor College in 2007 earned a Master's Degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Justus and his wife, Lori, are very proud of their three children Talby Jr., Holton, and Makenna.


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