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‘I Promised That I Would Give God the Glory’—Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball Coach Leads Team in Post-Victory Prayer

Jacie Hoyt
Screenshot from Twitter / @CoachJacie

After a victory over Big 12 rival Baylor on January 11, Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Jacie Hoyt led her Cowgirl team in a locker-room prayer. Saying she “promised that I would give God the glory,” Hoyt then asked players to bow their heads before celebrating the win that improved their record to 12-4.

“[God] is working. He is on the move at Oklahoma State right now,” Hoyt said. “And we’re gonna give [the glory] back to him.”

Jacie Hoyt Prays With Team

In her prayer, Hoyt thanked God “for all the great things that you are doing in this program right now” and “for this harvest that we’ve continued to reap.” She expressed gratitude “for the love that each of these girls has for one another, that they can overcome really really hard things because they fight so hard, and they’re using all of the gifts that you gave to each and every one of us, Lord.” Hoyt also gave thanks for her “amazing staff” and “the amazing university that we get to represent.” She closed by shouting, “We’re. Not. Done!”

Hoyt, 35, is in her first year at Oklahoma State but isn’t new to basketball or coaching. She grew up in Kansas, in a competitive family that includes mother Shelly Hoyt, a high school coaching legend. Four ACL tears hampered Jacie Hoyt’s own high school and college basketball careers. But looking back, she says those injuries gave her “a taste of watching from the sidelines,” expedited her coaching career, and shaped her philosophy and approach.

That philosophy includes a “family atmosphere” combined with lots of hard work on the court. “We’re going to find joy in everything we do and who we do it with,” Hoyt emphasizes. She also has impressive off-the-court goals, aiming to empower women, invest in players for post-basketball life, and provide “role models that young people can look up to.”

Faith Gives Coach ‘A Strong Sense of Purpose’

Jacie Hoyt credits her injuries with strengthening her faith, too. On a 2018 episode of the Sports Spectrum podcast, she described what happened when she couldn’t play the game she loved. “There was really just…nowhere for me to look but up at that point,” she said. “That’s when I really started to understand what that personal relationship [with Jesus] looked like, finding fulfillment in something that this world could never offer me.”

As she climbed the coaching ranks at other schools, Hoyt was careful not to “get caught up in having a dream job” because “God is the author of my story.” But being offered the Oklahoma State position was “really special,” she admits—especially because men’s basketball coach Mike Boynton “publicly professes his faith and cares about his players the way that he does.”