Two veteran coaches have joined head coach Billy Gillispie’s men’s basketball staff at Tarleton State University, and the accomplished trio has combined for more than 50 years of coaching at the NCAA Division I level.


Steve Shields is coming to Tarleton with over three decades of collegiate coaching experience — including 12 years as the head coach at University of Arkansas-Little Rock where he is the Trojans' all-time winningest coach. And Jim Shaw is reuniting with Gillispie, who he once served under as a graduate assistant at Texas-El Paso, and


"We are so lucky to have Steve Shields join our university here at Tarleton," Gillispie said. "We've been friends forever and no one is more loyal or fun to be around than Steve. With Steve's experience and knowledge, Tarleton just got a gem to add to the coaching staff."


Shaw brings 16 years of Division I experience on his resume, with other stops at Texas Tech and Nebraska. He served as the director of basketball operations for the Bobcats in his first year before being elevated to assistant coach for the last six seasons.


"Jim Shaw s a star in the making and destined to be a head coach in the very near future," Gillispie said. "Jim started his career with us (at UTEP) and possesses the qualities that help make any program successful with hard work, dedication and determination. We are extremely happy to have him back."


Shields, the 2004 Sun Belt Coach of the Year, was the head coach at UALR from 2003-15 and has a career record of 192-178 (.519). He has been coaching at the Division I level for the last 20 seasons, most recently as an assistant coach at Missouri (2015-17) and Southern Miss. (2017-18).


"I'm really excited to join Billy Gillispie’s coaching staff at Tarleton," said Shields. "I have a ton of respect for Coach Gillispie as a coach and friend. Our 30-year friendship goes back to coaching high school and JUCO basketball in Texas. Having grown up coaching in Texas and knowing the storied history that Lonn Reisman has created at Tarleton with his track record of winning makes this a great opportunity to continue that tradition and I'm fortunate to be a part of Tarleton Basketball. It's an exciting time to join Tarleton and this coaching staff during the transition period of going Division I. I look forward to moving into the WAC and competing at a high level."


Shields led the Trojans to the 2011 NCAA Tournament and guided the program to five Sun Belt Conference divisional titles.


Shaw helped guide the Bobcats to one of the top turnarounds in program history when the Bobcats improved from eight wins in 2013-14 to 14 victories in 2014-15. Since then, the success has continued to trend upward as Shaw has helped the Bobcats win 82 games in a four-year span, marking the sixth most among NCAA Division I programs in Texas (23).


"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to help Coach Gillispie transition the Tarleton State University men's basketball program to the Division I level," said Shaw.


Shields came to UALR after a successful run at McLennan Community College from 1996-00, earning Texas Junior College Coach of the Year in 1998. He is a graduate of Baylor University in 1988 with a bachelor's of science in education and again in 1992 with a master's degree in education.