On late Monday night, the Iowa Energy announced that head coach Matt Woodley was to be immediately removed from his position with the team. Woodley’s firing was due to the Energy getting off to an atrocious 2-19 start to the 2016-17 D-League season. Coinciding with Woodley’s firing, the Energy announced that Glynn Cyprien would take over as the team’s interim head coach.
Glynn Cyprien has been with the Grizzlies organization since the 2014-15 season, where he was hired to be the team’s basketball operations assistant/scout. Before his move to the Grizzlies, Cyprien served as the associate head coach of Texas A&M under then-head coach Billy Kennedy. That reign with Texas A&M was preceded by him helping lead both Kentucky (2007-09) and Memphis (2009-11) to three NCAA Tournament appearances in those four years.
Before his success at those three schools, Cyprien bolstered his resume by spending nearly 20 years serving as an assistant coach for a wide range of squads. That list of teams include: The University of Arkansas (2006-07), New Mexico State University (2005-06), Oklahoma State University (2000-04), the University of Nevada Las Vegas (1995-2000), Western Kentucky University (1994-95), Jacksonville University (1991-94), Lamar University (1990-91) and the University of Texas-San Antonio (1987-90).
Cyprien’s wide range of experience helped allow him to become a beloved assistant coach no matter he was. Following the news, Ridiculous Upside had the opportunity to two players, Elston Turner and Alex Caruso, who played under Cyprien at Texas A&M. In our conversation with both players, one aspect stood out when they talked about their experiences with Cyprien: his intense passion for the game.
“Cyprien was my favorite assistant coach,” Turner told Ridiculous Upside. “He always brought energy and passion to each practice. He brought the best of me and made me a better player for it. I have no doubt that he’d do a great job for them (Iowa Energy).
While Turner emphasized Cyprien’s intense passion for the game, current OKC Blue guard Alex Caruso touted the coach’s knack as a mentor. “He was a players coach, it was always very easy for him to connect with players,” Caruso described to Ridiculous Upside. “ As far as being a mentor, he is still someone I love running into & getting to see/chat with because I can tell he cares how I'm doing and progressing on a deeper level than just a prospect.”
Although he’ll be entering a rough situation in Iowa, Cyprien should still be confident about his new role as he enters as one of the most experienced coaches in the NBA D-League. Coinciding with that, Cyprien has a clear passion for the game and can be a great mentor for any young talent that may be on his squad. Those two traits should allow Cyprien to have success with the Iowa Energy.