By Kevin McPherson

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas director of player development Mike Ekanem has left after one season in the program to accept a bench assistant coaching position at Sam Houston State.

Ekanem is the second Razorbacks men’s hoops staffer to leave for a bench assistant coaching opportunity in just over a month as former Arkansas director of scouting and analytics Hays Myers did the same in moving on to Sacramento State on April 28. The Hogs also recently lost bench assistant coach Clay Moser, who stepped down in April and was replaced by former Hogs director of basketball operations Anthony Ruta.

Ekanem came to Arkansas roughly a year ago to fill the staff vacancy created when Earl Boykins left to take a bench assistant coaching position at Texas-El Paso.

Before coming to Arkansas, Ekanem spent the 2019-20 and ’20-21 seasons on Texas A&M’s staff after one season serving as the multimedia specialist at Nevada in ’18-19, which was current Head Hog Eric Musselman’s fourth and final campaign as head coach of the Wolf Pack prior to taking over at Arkansas. Ekanem also has experience working in NBA and WNBA organizations.

Here’s more on Ekanem …

– Prior to his one-year stint at Nevada, he was at Memphis for four seasons (2015-2018) as a special assistant before serving as the video coordinator and recruiting assistant. He coordinated video and social media, and assisted with opponent scouting and recruiting.

– Before arriving at Memphis, he as an assistant coach in the women’s basketball program at Louisiana Tech for one season (’13-14) as he was in charge of recruiting, scheduling, camps, and guard development.

– Ekanem spent six seasons working in professional basketball — for Spurs Sports and Entertainment as a basketball-operations assistant for the San Antonio Spurs, and as director of video and athletic performance for the San Antonio Stars of the WNBA. For both organizations, he assisted in practice and game preparation, video, skill development, and strength and conditioning.

– Ekanem is a native of Houston and graduated from Texas Lutheran in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in 2005. Ekanem was honored with all-conference recognition at Texas Lutheran before playing professionally overseas.

– Ekanem earned a master’s degree in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2008. He holds certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and National Academy of Sports Medicine.