LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Covenant Director of Athletics Tim Sceggel has announced the hiring of Arte Culver as the new Head Men's Basketball Coach. Culver becomes the 11th coach in the program's history since 1964, replacing Kyle Taylor who resigned his position as head coach and Athletic Director to become the Director of Player Development at Division I Utah State.
"I am honored and blessed to serve as the head men's basketball coach at Covenant. I am thankful to President Dr. J. Derek Halvorson and Athletic Director Tim Sceggel for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to lead this men's basketball program. Their trust and support have been phenomenal," Culver said. "Covenant offers a unique combination of strong academics in a genuine Christian atmosphere, and these things became all the more evident as I began to familiarize myself with the school and basketball program. The men's basketball program has experienced a lot of growth in the past couple of seasons, and I believe that we have not hit our ceiling yet. I am extremely excited to make an impact in the lives of our players as we seek to take Covenant Men's Basketball to new heights."
Culver comes to Covenant after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Wheaton (Ill.) College under head coach Mike Schauer. At Wheaton, Culver assisted in all areas of the program and served as the recruiting coordinator. Prior to Wheaton, Culver spent one year as the scholastic coordinator and video coordinator at NCAA Division I member Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. In his duties at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Culver oversaw all academic aspects of the men's basketball program and coordinated video scouting.
"I am beyond excited to bring a man of Arte's quality to lead our men's basketball program," Sceggel said. "His gifts in discipleship and recruiting, along with his relentless pursuit of excellence, make him a great fit for Covenant. I can't wait to see how God will use Arte to shape the lives of young men in the context of basketball in the years ahead."
Prior to his tenure at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Culver served one year as an assistant basketball coach and math teacher at The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas. Culver also served one year as the head varsity basketball coach at Rosehill Christian School in Tomball, Texas, while teaching algebra and geometry classes.
Culver is a 2006 graduate of Rice University, earning a degree in Mathematics. A walk-on with the Owls, Culver was a three-year letterwinner for the Rice men's basketball team and was a member of a class that set the program record for most victories during a four-year period with 73. During his playing career, Rice made two National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearances. Additionally, Culver was a four-time scholar athlete at Rice and a two-time Arthur Ashe Scholar during his career. He earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Mathematics from Rice in 2008, while serving as a graduate assistant and video coordinator for the Owls basketball program.
"As I look back on the journey that has led me to Covenant, I am grateful for my experience as a college basketball player, and having had the privilege to serve, learn, and grow under many great coaching mentors," Culver added. "Collectively, these experiences have shaped and prepared me to be the head coach at Covenant."
Culver will inherit a Covenant program that is coming off one of the best seasons in its history. The Scots went 18-10 in 2015-16 and won the USA South Tournament title to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Covenant looks to return four starters from last year's squad along with a host of role players and a talented recruiting class.
"In getting to know some of the returning players, their pride in Covenant basketball, and sincere desire to see the program continue to move forward was encouraging," Culver said. "I look forward to building on last season's success and fostering a culture that sustains that level of excellence. There is a lot of momentum coming into next season having several players coming back from an NCAA Tournament team. We'll add a really talented group of incoming freshmen to the mix as well. I am thankful to have Peter Wilkerson staying on as our assistant coach. His history and familiarity with the school and basketball program will provide some continuity that will help ease the transition for both myself and our players."
Fostering a culture begins immediately for Culver as he has made building relationships with members of the program, and the larger community, a top priority.
"My first priority is to come in and establish positive relationships with members of the basketball team, their families, and the campus community at large," Culver continued. "It is my goal to see each person in our program grow and mature spiritually, intellectually, and reach their full potential on the basketball court, and accomplishing this will begin with building quality relationships between players and coaches."
Culver and his wife, Julia, have three children, Teddy, Aaron and Annie.