Assistant Men's Basketball Coach
Tarleton men’s basketball has added former all-conference guard Lashon Sheffield to its staff as an assistant coach.
Sheffield spent the last seven seasons coaching at the college level, most recently as an assistant coach at Walters State overseeing skill development and recruiting. Sheffield was at Walters State for five seasons where they were the 2016-17 NJCAA Region 7 Zone Qualifier Champion with a 24-8 record and the 2013-14 NJCAA Region 7 Champions with a 20-14 record.
“We are super excited to welcome Lashon Sheffield back to the Tarleton State family,” said head coach Chris Reisman. “Coach Sheffield was one of the best guards to ever play in the Lone Star Conference and has achieved success everywhere he has been.”
Sheffield also spent one season at East Central University and at Ranger College handling skill development and recruiting.
Sheffield played for Tarleton from 2004-06 and was one of the elite guards in the Lone Star Conference while taking the Texans to new heights. In Sheffield’s two seasons, the Texans went 52-16 with back-to-back South Central Regional Championships and a Final Four appearance in 2005. The 2005-06 team was ranked No. 1 in the nation during the season.
In just two seasons, Sheffield scored 976 points while starting all 68 games for the Texans. He also had 230 career assists, which ranks 15th on the program’s all-time record. Sheffield was a second team all-LSC selection and LSC Newcomer of the Year as a junior and first team all-LSC and first team all-American as a senior. He was also named to the Lone Star Conference’s 75th Anniversary Team that ranked the top 75 players and coaches who have had an impact on the game of basketball in the LSC.
“Lashon is well remembered in the community and understands the expectations and standards I have for the Tarleton Basketball program,” Reisman added. “Coach Sheffield not only had a storied collegiate career but also played pro ball overseas several years and will be a great resource helping develop and prepare our players.”
Sheffield had a successful overseas professional career in Ireland, where he averaged 25.4 points per game for the UCC Demons.
Sheffield graduated from Houston High School in Memphis, Tennessee before coming to Tarleton where he earned his degree.
He has three daughters with his girlfriend Ashley Gonzales: Alexis, Aaliyah, and Ahlani. The Sheffield’s reside in Stephenville.
Assistant Men's Basketball Coach
When the 2018-19 season begins, Rodney “Mac” McConnell will begin his second season as a full-time assistant basketball coach for Tarleton.
McConnell has plenty of experience with Tarleton as a player and coach. Mac, as players and coaches call him, played for the Texans from 1998-00 and then transitioned into coaching as a graduate assistant in 2001-02. He became a full-time assistant for Tarleton from 2004-05 when the Texans made their first trip to the Final Four.
“Rodney brings a lot of experience with him and he’s a tremendous recruiter,” said head coach Lonn Reisman. “He played for me, was a graduate assistant, and a full-time assistant for me so he understands the tradition and expectations we have here at Tarleton. We’re excited to have him return to his alma mater and be a part of our basketball program.”
McConnell has made several coaching stops along the way before his return to Tarleton. McConnell was most recently the associate head coach at Wiley College for two seasons where he guided his team to the NAIA national tournament with a 25-10 record behind seven wins over ranked NAIA teams.
Prior to Wiley College, McConnell was the head coach of East Central University from 2011-13. McConnell’s first head coaching job came at Ranger College from 2007-11. He coached Ranger to two consecutive 20-win seasons, including a 24-10 record in 2009-10.
McConnell was also an assistant coach for Angelo State, McNeese State, University of Montana and Hill College. McConnell has recruited or assisted in player development with 12 former players that went on to play professionally, including former Texan Corin Henry. In addition to coaching basketball, McConnell is also a certified personal trainer, where he worked at Anytime Fitness for three years training high school, college and professional athletes.
McConnell earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Kinesiology from Tarleton. McConnell is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi and now resides in Stephenville.
Assistant Men's Basketball Coach
The Tarleton men's basketball team has added former player and coach Nic Cantrell to its staff as an assistant coach.
Cantrell has spent eight years with the Texans – two as a player and five as a coach. Cantrell was a student assistant coach from 2008-10, graduate assistant from 2010-12 and promoted to assistant coach for the 2012-13 season. In his five seasons on the bench, Cantrell helped the Texans to a 113-40 record and four 20-win seasons. The Texans appeared in four NCAA regional tournaments, won a Lone Star Conference Championship and an LSC Tournament Championship with Cantrell on staff.
"I'm extremely excited to bring Nic Cantrell on board to our staff," said head coach Chris Reisman. "He's extremely loyal and has a great feel of what it takes to be successful in the Lone Star Conference. He brings an incredible work ethic and energy to our program. He's recruited high level players and understands our system and will be great transitioning our student-athletes. We are blessed to add Nic, his wife Kimberly, and their two kids Aubrey and Jaxon to Texan Nation."
Cantrell is a member of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) as well as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Prior to his Tarleton coaching career, Cantrell played for the Texans from 2005-08, going 70-24 in his three seasons. In his first season in 2005-06, Cantrell and the Texans went 27-7 and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight and finished the season ranked No. 13 by the NABC. In the 2007-08 season, Cantrell and the Texans finished 25-7 overall and earned the No. 1 seed in the South Central Regional, which the Texans hosted in Stephenville that season. Tarleton finished the season as a regional championship finalist and notched a No. 15 season-ending ranking by the NABC.
As a player at North Mesquite High School, Cantrell was a TABC preseason all-state selection and first-team all-district as a junior and senior.
He graduated from North Mesquite High School in 2005 and earned his bachelor's and master's degree in Kinesiology from Tarleton.
He married a former Tarleton TexAnn basketball player, Kimberly Smith-Cantrell. They have a daughter, Aubrey, and a son, Jaxon.