Head coach at Sam Houston State University since April 2, 2010, and an assistant for the Bearkats for six seasons, Jason Hooten has been a key contributor in the Bearkats' outstanding men's basketball program that has rolled up a record of 199 victories and only 119 losses the past 10 years.
Since Hooten joined the Bearkat staff in July 2004, SHSU men's basketball has earned Southland Conference tournament berths each year, won three West Division titles and finished among the top three teams in the league standings eight times.
Hooten has directed Sam Houston to a 72-60 record in his four seasons as head coach. As an assistant coach, Hooten helped direct SHSU to a 127-59 record, four 20-plus victory seasons plus both Southland regular season and tournament championships and an NCAA tournament appearance in 2010.
Last year, the SHSU men made their third Division I post-season tournament appearance, reaching the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The Kats' victory over Alabama State in the first round is Sam Houston's first NCAA post-season victory.
In his first season as Bearkat head coach in 2011, Hooten directed the Bearkats to their third consecutive Southland Conference West Division championship and the program's seventh consecutive winning season. The Bearkats' 18 wins represented the most victories by a first-year head coach in the program's NCAA Division I history.
Following the season, Sam Houston State's Gilberto Clavell was recognized as Southland Conference "Player of the Year" and became the program's third NCAA Division I All-America selection. Two of the five players named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VI honor squad (Josten Crow and Lance Pevehouse) were Bearkats.
Battling through early season injury setbacks last year, Hooten's second Bearkat team bounced back for five big league wins in a stretch run that clinched Sam Houston's 10th consecutive post-season tournament appearance.
In his third year as SHSU head coach in 2013, Hooten’s Bearkats battled their way to the semifinals of the Southland Tournament in Katy. Seeded No. 6, the Kats defeated No. 7 seed Central Arkansas 69-63 and No. 3 seed Oral Roberts 58-55 before falling to the eventual tournament champion Northwestern State 55-52.
The 25-8 record for Sam Houston in 2009-10 marked the highest victory total for a Bearkat squad in SHSU's 23 seasons at the NCAA Division I level. Sam Houston stands as the "winningest team" in the Southland Conference during the last 12 years.
Only one of the 20 NCAA Division I men's basketball programs in the state (the University of Texas) has won more games since 2000 than Sam Houston.
Hooten joined the SHSU staff July 1, 2004, helping run practice, recruiting, scouting, scheduling and academics. In 2009, RecruitingRumors.com selected Hooten as one of the top 100 NCAA assistant coaches and CollegeInsider.com named him Mid-Major Top 25 assistant coaches honorable mention.
Previously, Hooten served as assistant men's basketball coach at Tarleton State University for Lonn Reisman. During his tenure, the Texans posted a combined 204-111 record.
Hooten also played basketball at Tarleton, helping lead the Texans to a 52-10 mark. He returned to Tarleton in August 1993 after serving as a part-time assistant coach at Weatherford Junior College. Hooten assisted in all aspects of the men's basketball program, with particular emphasis in recruiting and scheduling.
Hooten's recruiting efforts played a key role in Tarleton's amazing 82-16 overall record his final three seasons with the Texans. In 2004, Tarleton posted a 28-4 record and claimed both the Lone Star Conference North Division title and the LSC Championship. The Texans won back-to-back North Division championships with a 29-4 record in 2002-03 and a 25-8 mark in 2001-02.
During Hooten's 11 seasons with the Texans, nine players earned first team All-LSC honors and five were All-America. Hooten also coached and recruited Tim Burnette who was named Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Small College Player of the Year in 2004.
Hooten played two years at McLennan Community College, where he was an honorable mention all-conference selection and led his team to a league title. At Tarleton, he earned two letters under Reisman, helping the Texans to a pair of 26-5 records and TIAA titles.
A 1987 graduate of Killeen Ellison High School, Hooten lettered in basketball and baseball. He earned all-district, All-CenTex and All-Super CenTex while leading his team to the bi-district championship as a senior. He holds school career records for scoring and assists. In baseball, he twice earned All-District honorable mention and lettered three years.
Hooten holds two degrees from Tarleton State, earning a bachelor's in exercise and sport studies in 1993 and a master's in 1995. In June 2012, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumni by the Killeen Independent School District Alumni Association.
Hooten is married to the former Kristen Miller and the pair have a daughter, Jadyn, and a son Jayce.