Men’s Basketball | Wed, Aug. 11, 2021
Talladega, AL- On Wednesday afternoon Talladega College Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Wright announced the hiring of Steve Ayala as an Assistant Coach.
“I am extremely excited to have Coach Ayala join our staff,” said Coach Wright. “I love the passion and energy he will bring to our program. He is an outstanding person that has really paid his dues in the coaching profession. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, and this was a no-brainer hire for us. He is a tireless worker, has a very good basketball mind and was very highly recommended by Andre Cook, one of the best small college coaches in the country.”
Ayala comes to Tornado Alley via St. Edwards University in Austin, TX. He spent a total of seven years with the Hilltoppers, starting as a Student Assistant Coach in 2014. He was named a Graduate Assistant after finishing his bachelor’s degree in 2018, and then was elevated to Assistant Coach for the 2020-2021 season.
Over the past three years he played a pivotal role in St. Edwards establishing themselves as a national power at the NCAA Division II level. During that time frame the program compiled a 69-16 record, two consecutive top 10 finishes, three consecutive Conference Tournament Championship appearances, along with two NCAA Tournament berths. Ayala was named the 2019-2020 Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Small College Graduate Assistant of the Year.
“Steve has been an integral part of our success the past seven years,” said St. Edwards Head Coach, Andre Cook. “I have grown accustomed to having him next to me and it will be weird when we start the season to not have him around. However, he could not be in better hands working for Chris Wright. He will continue to grow under Coach Wright’s tutelage, and I hope he can help Talladega College win a national championship.”
The program is coming a off a 25-5 campaign that saw the Tornadoes decisively win the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. Dega climbed as high as 9th in the country before advancing to the Second Round of the NAIA National Tournament. This year will mark the program’s inaugural season as a member of the Southern States Athletic Conference.