Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content
UAFS men's basketball head coach Zane Gibson, sits in front of team lockers

UAFS men's basketball head coach Zane Gibson, sits in the basketball locker room.

Featured | NewsMay 18, 2023

Revitalizing on the Hardwood: Zane Gibson's Return to UAFS Men's Basketball

Written By: Ian Silvester

For the first time in five years, Zane Gibson returns to the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith sideline to don the Lions’ blue and white. His return is a shift of just 18 inches but comes with the responsibility of being the UAFS men’s basketball head coach.
“When you slide down from the assistant coach chair to the head coach chair, it’s like going from here to Mars,” laughed Gibson. “You go from being a guy that can walk into the office and make suggestions to the guy that has to make all the decisions.”
Gibson is a college coach’s son who was a player and graduate assistant at Middle Tennessee State and an assistant coach at UAFS. He paid his coaching dues by wearing out dry-erase markers on the bench before getting a shot at the next level.
As head coach at Western New Mexico for three years, he quickly helped turn around the program. However, a familiar coaching vacancy was too hard to resist.
“I’m from Chattanooga,” said Gibson. “I couldn’t pass up being closer to home. And you know, having a lot of positive history here, knowing a lot of the people, and having a good feel for how the community works, I really wanted to take on this opportunity.”
Gibson was named the UAFS men’s basketball head coach on April 7, 2023. A few weeks into the job, he has an idea of what it will take to stack up more wins than losses.
“There’s nothing more special in college athletics than cutting down a net,” smiled Gibson. “I’ve been a part of a few special Lion’s teams in the past that were able to climb the ladder and do just that. We want to do that again.” 
However, if the Lions want to be conference champions again, Gibson understands it will take more than talent alone.
“I don’t know exactly what the makeup of the team will be when it’s all said and done. What I do know is that there will be good people representing our program and hopefully good basketball players - and in that order. We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure we’re bringing in really good people to represent Arkansas, Fort Smith.”
But it’s not just the culture Gibson brings to UAFS that sets the team and university up for success.
“You don’t want to be at a place where being OK is acceptable,” stated Gibson. “You want to be at a place where you are absolutely chasing the ultimate prize, and I think you can do that here at UAFS. It’s been proven in the past, and I hope to prove it again.”

  • Tags:
  • Basketball
  • Athletics
  • Coach