Former East Central Community College assistant basketball coach Dylan Shields is set to return to Decatur as the new head men’s basketball coach, effective immediately.
“We are excited to have Dylan Shields return to East Central in a head coaching role,” said ECCC President Dr. Brent Gregory. “Dylan rose to the top of a very talented group of applicants for this position, and we are very excited for the future of our men’s basketball program as he is a proven winner. We look forward to the leadership and experience that he will provide as he prepares our student-athletes for success, not only in competition but in all areas of life.”
Shields comes back to ECCC after serving as the assistant men’s basketball coach/redshirt program coordinator at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, for the previous four seasons.
Under Shields’ leadership, the Buccaneers picked up 75 wins in four seasons, had eight NJCAA All-Region IX players, and sent 10 players to NCAA Division I programs. Shields was named the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Assistant Coach of the Year for his efforts during the 2019-2020 season.
Prior to Blinn, Shields was an assistant at ECCC from 2016 to 2018. During that two-year stretch, the Warriors had 24 wins and advanced to the MACJC and NJCAA Region XXIII Tournament.
Shields not only served as an assistant coach but led all recruiting efforts for the Warriors and helped guide five players to NCAA Division I scholarships.
“I am beyond excited to be named head coach at East Central, and I am ready to begin developing our student-athletes into strong men on the court and in the community as they represent the college,” said Shields. “There are only 216 NJCAA Division I head basketball coaches in the country, and I am humbled and honored to be one of them. East Central is very special to me, as it is where I got my first assistant coaching job…I love the sense of community and at-home atmosphere the college provides, and I am thrilled to raise my family in such an environment.”
Along with coaching and recruiting experience, Shields is well versed in all areas of collegiate athletics as he served as the video coordinator and graduate assistant at the University of North Texas for the 2014-2015 season, before moving into the assistant director of operations role. Shields served in the position for the 2015-2016 season. His duties included organizing camps, budgeting, scheduling, and organizing travel.
“Dylan Shields is a rising star in the coaching profession, and we are honored that he has chosen to come home to East Central and lead the Warrior men’s basketball program,” said ECCC Director of Athletics Paul Nixon. “His network of contacts both within Mississippi and across the country will allow him to recruit prospects who will excel in Decatur and be prepared to move on to four-year programs. He fits in perfectly with the ECCC Warrior family.”
Shields was raised in El Dorado, Ark., where he was a three-year letterman on the Parkers Chapel High School basketball team. Upon graduation, Shields continued his education at the University of Arkansas where he began his coaching journey under the direction of John Pelphry and Mike Anderson as a student assistant. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Arkansas in kinesiology in 2014.
He earned a master’s in kinesiology and coaching from Southern Arkansas University in 2021.
Shields is married to the former Taylor Smith of Choudrand, La. They have a daughter, Finley, and a son, Wesson.