MICAH BYARS | DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Micah Byars enters his seventh season on the Iowa State men’s basketball staff. He spent the first two seasons as Director of Player Development and was promoted to Director of Basketball Operations in the spring of 2013.
Iowa State has enjoyed unprecedented success during Byars’ tenure in Ames. The Cyclones have qualified for a school-record six-straight NCAA Tournaments, achieved a 146-64 overall record and placed in the top-four in the Big 12 Conference standings in five of six seasons. Iowa State has also won three Big 12 Tournament titles during his time at the school.
Six Cyclone student-athletes have earned All-America honors since Byars' initial season at ISU (2011-12). Most recently, Monté Morris earned All-America status, just a year removed from Georges Niang becoming the first two-time All-American in school history. Niang also took home the prestigious Karl Malone Award in 2016, given annually to the nation's top power forward.
In total, ISU players have been recognized by the Big 12 a total of 24 times in the last six seasons. An Iowa State player has won Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors four of the previous six seasons.
The Cyclones continued their impressive run in 2016-17, finishing 24-11 overall and winning the Big 12 Tournament title for the third time in four seasons. ISU became one of just 10 schools to advance to the NCAA Tournament in six consecutive seasons.
In 2015-16, Iowa State went 23-12 overall and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for just the fifth time in school history and the second time in Byars' time at the school. ISU won the Emerald Coast Classic, its third holiday tournament title in his first five seasons.
The Cyclones won the Big 12 Championship title for the second consecutive season and finished 25-9 overall in 2014-15. Iowa State went 12-6 in conference action, finishing in a tie for second in the league. For the second season in a row, ISU beat nine ranked opponents.
The 2013-14 season was one of the best in Iowa State history. The Cyclones finished 28-8, advanced to the Sweet 16 and won championships at the Big 12 Tournament and Diamond Head Classic.
The season produced a pair of All-Americans in Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane. Ejim was also named the Big 12 Player of the Year, while Kane was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Ejim was also named a Capital One Academic All-American.
In 2012-13, Iowa State advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year, reeled off a 22-game homecourt winning streak, tying for the second-best string in school history, and led the nation in 3-pointers per game at 9.9. ISU averaged 79.4 points per game, ranking third nationally and leading all “power-six” conference schools in scoring.
In Byars’ first season (2011-12), Iowa State qualified for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2005, recorded 23 wins and tied for third in the Big 12 Conference with a 12-6 mark. The Cyclones appeared in the Associated Press’ Top-25 for the first time since 2005 and defeated two top-10 teams (Kansas and Baylor) during ISU’s outstanding 2011-12 season.
Byars was responsible for monitoring the academic progress of the Cyclone basketball team as Director of Player Development. Iowa State posted a pair of the best semester cumulative GPAs in school history and had a Big 12-best four members on the Academic All-Big 12 squad, including three first-teamers, in 2011-12 thanks to Byars’ mentoring.
Byars was a valuable member of the UCF staff for six seasons prior to his arrival at Iowa State, as several Knight players earned national recognition in his tenure. In 2009, Jermaine Taylor was the C-USA Player of the Year and was an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America pick before getting selected No. 32 in the 2009 NBA Draft.
The Knights advanced to the CBI semifinals in 2011, as Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton earned All-C-USA honors.
A native of Gainesville, Florida, Byars was an assistant coach at Chipola College from 2003-05. Several Chipola players moved onto the Division I ranks while Byars was at the junior college power, including Mario Boggan (Oklahoma State), Stefhon Hannah (Missouri) and former Iowa State star Mike Taylor, who was selected in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft.
The Indians won a school-record 34 games in 2005 while finishing fourth in the NJCAA national tournament.
Byars also worked at New Orleans (2001-03) and Santa Fe Community College (1999-2001) under Monte Towe prior to his time at Chipola. Sante Fe claimed back-to-back Mid-Florida Conference Championship titles and went 46-21 in his two years on staff.
In each of his five assistant coaching stops, Byars has been a part of staffs who have garnered either a conference player of the year or coach of the year award.
Byars attended Florida and spent two years (1994-95) as a member of the Gators’ football team at defensive back. He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from West Florida in 2006.