As both the Grover Cleveland and Franklin Roosevelt of Haskell University basketball coaches, it didn't take Walt Wilson long to fit into his role.
Like Cleveland, Wilson's time on the job has not been consecutive. And like Roosevelt, he's in his fourth term.
Wilson coached the Indians in 1988-89 as well as in two different partial seasons in the early '80s.
This time, however, is a luxury for Wilson, whose previous three stints were on an interim basis. The Indians open at home against Northwestern Missouri at 7 p.m. Monday.
Even when Wilson coached the team for a full year, he didn't discover he'd be the head coach until about a month before the season. This time, he knew six months in advance.
"It's been tremendous just knowing," Wilson said.
The Indians' roster lists four sophomores and 12 freshmen. Their tallest player is 6-7 sophomore Dan Black.
"He's a good shooter," Wilson said. "He's going to be a threat."
Sophomores Terry Brockie (6-4), C.T. Camel (6-2) and Chris Mendoza (6-2) and freshmen Rock Lebeau (5-10) and Myron Old Elk (6-3), as well as Black, are expected to be frequent starters, Wilson said.
Mendoza is the younger brother of former Haskell player Rob Mendoza.
Wilson spent the past three seasons as Haskell's women's basketball coach, but he said his coaching style wouldn't change.
"I coach them about the same," he said, but added, "They have different problems."
John Morris takes over as Haskell's women's basketball coach.
Morris said the Indians, who have 14 players, would probably start sophomores Jacque Hill, Kristie Punley and Margaret Endfield with freshmen Misty Springwater and Terra Hale.
"I think we're going to win some games," Morris said. "They're hustling and working hard. We've got a good bunch, all the way from the No. 1 person to the No. 14."
Morris had to hustle just to make it to practices. He also was defensive coordinator for the Indians' football team, which concluded its season last Monday.