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Dr. Jim Poteet Named 2024 SCB Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Kansas City, MO – Small College Basketball is honored to announce that Dr. Jim Poteet is the recipient of the 2024 SCB Lifetime Achievement Award. This is the sixth year that Small College Basketball has awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. John McCarthy had this to say about Dr. Jim Poteet:


"Jim Poteet is special to me, both personally and professionally,” explained McCarthy. “He has impacted our great game of basketball in so many ways, in so many capacities, for decades.  He's among the most knowledgeable and passionate advocates for our game that's living today.....and he's among the best humans that I know.  My life is better for having become friends with Jim Poteet, and it's an emotional honor to present him as our 2024 Small College Basketball Lifetime Achievement Award Winner."


Poteet has worked in collegiate athletics as a coach, professor, and administrator since 1964. Poteet earned a physical education degree from Pasadena College (now Point Loma Nazarene University) in 1963. After earning a master’s degree from California State University, Poteet started his coaching career at Northwest Nazarene College. After three years at Northwest Nazarene College, Poteet returned to Pasadena College as an assistant coach. In 1968, Poteet received his first head coaching job at Biola University. Off the court, Poteet led four Christian Ministry trips during his tenure.


After three successful years at Biola, Poteet was hired to build the basketball program at Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University) into a national contender. In eight years, Poteet collected 171 wins, including 148 wins in the final six years. Poteet led the program to a NAIA District #9 championship and two NAIA tournament appearances. Poteet was named the NAIA District #9 Coach of the Year in 1974 and 1976. He led his teams to NCCAA National Championships in 1974 and 1977. Poteet was named the NCAA National Basketball Coach of the Year in 1974 and 1975. Furthermore he represented the NAIA and USA People to People Program in a six game series with the Mexico National Basketball Team. John Hudson, long-time Commissioner of the Sooner Athletic Conference had this to say about Poteet:


"Jim Poteet is one of the most interesting people in sports, and particularly in basketball, that I have ever known,” stated Hudson. “I connected with Jim early on in my career and played against his Bethany Nazarene basketball team in the first game ever played by USAO, where I was the first basketball coach.  Jim always had a good read on situations, whether about basketball or about life, and I have to admit that in my two years as a head coach, he was the only coach I never won a game against.  Jim recruited me to write a constitution for the Sooner Athletic Conference and also promoted me to be the first commissioner of that league, a run that lasted 38 years.  Never at a loss for words, Jim has always been available for consultation and always gave good advice.  I made my first trip to UCLA's Pauley Pavillion where his Athletes in Action team was playing UCLA, and he actually let me sit on the bench with him and his team.  What an experience and what a great guy over many years of a very long and great friendship!"


From 1979-1980, Poteet coached with Athletes in Action. He recorded a record of 39 wins and six losses and defeated the Russian Olympic team in Paris. Poteet then went on to coach at Seattle Pacific University, a NCAA Division II program, where he lead the program to 64 wins. Dr. Jim Poteet had this to say about being named the 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner:


“I have spent more than 60-years as a player, coach and administrator of small college basketball,” stated Poteet. “I am surprised and humbled to be selected for the 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Small College Basketball Association.  Thanks to John McCarthy and the selection committee for this wonderful honor.”


From 1984-1999, Poteet worked at P&P Promotions in Bethany, Oklahoma. Poteet was tasked with developing a national marketing plan for the introduction and placement of Pop-A-Shot electronic basketball skills games. Poteet was vital to the negotiations with the National Basketball Association to license Pop-A-Shot as the official basketball skills game of the NBA.


Poteet would then move to on working with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as a consultant to the President. In this role, Poteet developed the Champions of Character program as an initiative of the Council of Presidents. Worked with NAIA leadership to name the program and select the first Champions of Character Committee.


Poteet served as the Commissioner of the Association of Christian College Athletics. The Association of Christian College Athletics included 40 total schools. Poteet helped develop the association website, along with the national tournament structure. He was also vital in securing sponsorships for the national tournament. Poteet then moved on to Southwestern Christian University. As the Associate Athletic Director and Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach, Poteet led the university athletic department through the application process to membership in the NAIA in April 2010. In 2016, the team finished national runner-up in the NCCAA National Division I Tournament.


Most recently, Poteet has served as a Vice President of Athletics and Assistant Basketball Coach at Kansas Christian College. Poteet was an assistant coach on the 2023 NCCAA National Championship team, which finished with a record of 24-4. He is instrumental in development for the five programs within the athletic department. Loren Gresham, retired President, Southern Nazarene University, had this to say about Poteet:


"Having known Jim Poteet since high school days, I have observed his coaching, consulting, and leadership track for over a half century,” stated Gresham. “I personally know of no one who is more knowledgeable or passionate about small college basketball. He is very deserving of Small College Basketball's Lifetime Achievement award."


Poteet was named to the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2014 and was named a Distinguished Alumni Award recipient from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2024. From the Church of Nazarene, Poteet was awarded the Distinguish Service Award in 2013. He was named to the Pasadena College/Point Loma Nazarene University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. In 1998 Poteet was the World Masters Champion in Free Throw Shooting at the World Masters Games in the 55-59 age category. Poteet has been recognized as a free throw expert due to his doctoral dissertation topic, “The Paradox of the Free Throw.” He was quoted extensively in the book the Art of a Beautiful Game by Sports Illustrated Chris Ballard in the chapter on free throw shooting. Poteet is also an active participant in US Senior Olympics, Masters Games and World Maxibasketball Championships. He has participated in 11 National Championships, three World Masters Championships, and one World Maxibasketball championship. In his accomplished career he has earned over 300 gold medals. Poteet also made 489 free throws consecutively.


In 1999, Poteet earned a doctorate in Applied Educational Studies / Sport Management from Oklahoma State University. Poteet is a Board Member of the Small College Basketball Foundation and the President and Board Member of the National Basketball Shooters Association. He is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and National Association of Basketball Coaches. To go along with his accolades on the court, Poteet also was an Assistant Professor at Northwest Nazarene, Pasadena College, Biola University. He then went on to be an Associate Professor at Southern Nazarene University and a Chair and Professor at Southwestern Christian University. Poteet led the largest major on campus.


Poteet has been the Chair of the Small College Basketball Association since inception. He also has been a member of the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Committee since inception. Poteet is currently finishing up his third book on the history of the basketball at three different schools. He finished the book on Pasadena College (up until they moved campuses and became Point Loma Nazarene) and Northwest Nazarene (ID). The final book is on the basketball program at Bethany/Southern Nazarene.


Dr. Jim Poteet will be awarded the SCB Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Awards Show on Saturday April 27th.


For more information on the SCB Lifetime Achievement Award and Small College Basketball head to




The Lifetime Achievement Award for the Small College Basketball Alumni Association is presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated a continuous commitment to small college basketball including measureable, lasting and sustained leadership and service, as well as an impact on the game over a career or a lifetime.  The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented each year at the Small College Basketball’s Celebration of the Game.  Nominations for the award are made by members of the alumni association.

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