Green Bay Director of Athletics Josh Moon has named Sundance Wicks the ninth head men’s basketball coach in Phoenix program history. An introductory press conference to announce Wicks as the next Phoenix head coach will be held in the coming weeks.
“We are excited to welcome Coach Wicks to UW-Green Bay,” said UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander. “He is the right person to lead our men’s basketball team into the future as Northeast Wisconsin’s Division I Athletic program. His energy and commitment to what is possible here is in perfect alignment with our aspirations and goals as a University.”
Wicks joins the Phoenix after three seasons as an assistant coach at Wyoming. In his first season with the Cowboys, Wicks helped revamp an offense that led the Mountain West in scoring at 76.5 points per game.
In just his second season with the program in 2022, the Cowboys reached the NCAA Tournament after finishing the season with a 25-9 overall record. It was the school’s first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 20 years and broke a seven-year NCAA Tournament drought. Wyoming’s 24 regular season wins was the most since 1951-52.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sundance and his family to Phoenix Country,” said Moon. “‘Sunny’ will transform Phoenix Basketball – restoring the rich tradition and history and connecting with alumni, fans and friends and all of Northeast Wisconsin.”
“His enthusiasm and energy will make Phoenix Athletics better and help elevate the entire University,” Moon continued. “His ability to build relationships with our student-athletes and recruits will be very impactful, and we are so excited to watch this program RISE under Sunny’s leadership!”
Prior to his time with the Cowboys, he spent two highly successful years as the head men’s basketball coach at NCAA Division II Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri. The Gillette, Wyo., native, led the Griffons to 18 wins in 2019-20, which was the most by the program in 10 years. In his first season at the helm of the program his team doubled their win total from the year before. In his two seasons, Wicks mentored six All-MIAA players and an NABC All-District Selection.
“I am absolutely humbled and honored to be called on to lead the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball program into its next era,” said Wicks. “My family and I would like to thank Director of Athletics Josh Moon, Chancellor Michael Alexander, and the entire search committee for their unrelenting belief in this storied program and the transformational process that is about to occur on our campus and in the community. There is a history of winning and a tradition of excellence that is dormant right now, not dead, and we will RISE that tradition from its ashes. The ‘Green Bay Way’ is about caring at a high level, connecting with the community and competing ’til you have emptied the tank. It’s time to bring the juice to the bay and get after it EVERY SINGLE DAY!”
After lettering four years as a student-athlete at Northern State from 1999-2003, Wicks began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Wolves. Since then, Wicks has accumulated years of experience at Colorado (2006-07), Northern Illinois (2007-11) and San Francisco (2015-16).
During the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, Wicks returned to his alma mater as the associate head coach. In 2017-18, he helped lead Northern State to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular season and postseason championships. That same season, Northern State made the program’s first-ever appearance in the national championship game.
Hanging his hat on player development, Wicks also built the Arizona Power Basketball Academy, serving as the skill instructor and director from 2011-15. Prior to launching the APBA, he spent five months training NBA pre-draft prospects at the Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas. Wick’s draft class trainees included Kawhi Leonard, Alec Burks, and Isaiah Thomas.
As a student-athlete, Wicks was twice named first team All-NSIC, scoring 1,174 points and pulling down 665 rebounds in his career. He was also a two-time All-NSIC performer in the 400-meter hurdles at Northern State. After graduation, Wicks played for the Sodertalje Kings in Sweden. He led the team in points and rebounding.
Wicks received a bachelor’s degree in international business from Northern State in 2003 and a master’s degree in health, physical education and coaching from Northern State in 2006.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT COACH SUNDANCE WICKS
Rex Walters, Assistant Coach, Charlotte Hornets
“Green Bay just got so much better today. The energy, passion, intelligence and love will impact Green Bay for years to come! I was fortunate to work with coach Wicks for a year and I have memories that will last a lifetime. The young men that get to play for him just got a great coach, teacher and a lifelong mentor that will show them how to be successful on the court and in life. Green Bay….Get Ready for THE JUICE!”
Jeff Linder, Head Coach, University of Wyoming
“I am so excited for coach Wicks, his wife Courteney, and their two children (Grace & Skywalker) as they embark on this new journey. His energy and compassion will be felt immediately as he starts to build UWGB from the ground up. As much as I hate to see him go I know that coach Wicks is ready for the challenge and prepared to lead the Phoenix to great things.”
Ben McCollum, Head Coach, Northwest Missouri State University
“Sundance will bring a high level of energy to the Green Bay Phoenix! I have known him for many years and know that he is a lifelong learner and genuinely cares about the kids he coaches. Great hire by Josh Moon.”
Paul Sather, Head Coach, University of North Dakota
“Green Bay basketball just got a bolt of lightning in Sundance Wicks as their new coach. Sunny can coach, connect, and create a unique culture that wins on and off the court. Great hire!”
Sundance Wicks Coaching History:
2020-23: Assistant Coach, University of Wyoming
2018-20: Head Coach, Missouri Western University
2016-18: Associate Head Coach, Northern State University
2015-16: Assistant Coach, University of San Francisco
2007-11: Assistant Coach, Northern Illinois University
2006-07: Assistant Coach, University of Colorado
2004-06: Graduate Assistant, Northern State University