Drake was announced as the Warrior men’s basketball head coach on August 24, 2015 after spending the previous five years at Ashford University (Iowa). Under Drake, the Saints recorded the top five seasons in Ashford history and appeared in the NAIA DII National Championship Tournament three times. Ashford advanced to the Round of 16 in 2015.
Drake, the 2013-14 Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Coach of the Year, posted a 108-55 overall record in his five seasons at the helm at Ashford University. The Saints made just their second-ever National Tournament appearance under Oliver in 2011 after winning the MCC postseason tournament championship.
Ashford was ranked in the NAIA Top 25 at least once in each of Drake's five seasons, and spent every week ranked during the 2013-14 campaign. Under Drake's leadership, Ashford set school records for regular season wins, overall wins, conference wins and regular season win streak.
In addition to success on the court, Drake's tenure at Ashford was noteworthy for academic gains among student-athletes as his teams claimed three NAIA Scholar Team Awards and two NABC Team Academic Excellence Awards. As a coach who saw 100% of his program's seniors graduate, Drake's approach matches Midland University's commitment to ensuring students are supported and guided toward on-time graduation.
Drake graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with his bachelor’s before earning a Master's degree in Education from Viterbo University.
Pickens was named the Warriors' new assistant coach, alongside head coach Oliver Drake, prior to the 2015-16 season.
Pickens, a native of Rockford, Illinois, began his collegiate playing career at Rock Valley Junior College before transferring to Ashford University for his junior season. At Rock Valley he was a two-time First Team All-Conference selection. Following a two-year career at Ashford, where he was named Team MVP as a senior, Pickens joined the coaching staff as a graduate assistant in the 2010-11 season.
While on staff at Ashford, Pickens helped recruit two All-Americans and numerous All-Conference selections as the Saints made the NAIA DII National Championship Tournament three times, advancing to the Round of 16 in 2015. He was a member of the coaching staff for all five of the years that Coach Drake was at the helm as Ashford posted a combined 108-55 record.
Pickens earned his bachelor’s degree in December of 2009 from Ashford before obtaining his Master’s in Education and Public Policy while working as a graduate assistant.
Perry joined the Midland coaching staff in the 2015-16 season. Originally from Rockford, Illinois, he graduated from Rockford Jefferson High School before beginning his collegiate basketball career.
Perry began his college career playing NCJAA Division 1 basketball at Williston State College for two years. As a freshman, he helped lead the team to 25-7 record conference and region championship. As a sophomore in 2010-2011, Williston State went 24-9 en route to another region title.
Perry went on to attend Bellevue University as a junior where the Bruins won a conference championship and advanced to the “Sweet 16” of the NAIA DII National Tournament. Perry then transferred to Ashford University as a senior in 2013-14 under current Midland head coach Oliver Drake. The Saints also made an appearance in the NAIA National Tournament that season.
Perry joined Drake’s staff at Ashford while finishing his bachelor’s degree in English and Communication, and will work towards his Master’s while coaching at Midland University.