Caleb Surly is in his second season as Central assistant coach after Brian Ross brought him on board in June 2018. Prior to Central, Surly spent the 2017-18 season on Ross' staff at Baptist Prep, helping the Eagles win a third consecutive 4A state championship. The Eagles posted a 30-6 record (15-1 conference), won a conference title and became the ninth boys team in Arkansas history to win three straight titles.
Surly, was a major proponent of the Eagles’ shooting success, 38% made 3-pointers, which was on full display throughout their postseason title run. His efforts also opened the door to more-detailed scouting reports, producing player reels for college coaches and increasing player exposure.
"[Coach Surly] brings state championship experience, an uncommon level of passion and enthusiasm to every facet of life, and he will be great working with our players," Ross said. "I know he will do a phenomenal job investing in the young men in our program."
In his first year at Central, Surly spearheaded establishing a Freshman Tiger basketball program, scheduling a full competitive schedule and focusing on player development. Surly played an important role in laying the foundation during Ross' first year, helping lead the Tigers to a 17-11 overall record and return to the state tournament. His efforts also played a part in helping all five seniors, both on the court and in the classroom, sign letters of intent to compete in college athletics.
While at Oklahoma State, Surly served as a student manager for the OSU Men’s Basketball program in 2013-14, realizing his passion for player development through working with players including Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics), Markel Brown, Jeffrey Carroll (Lakers) and Phil Forte, Oklahoma State's all-time leader in 3-pointers. Surly was an instrumental part of the team's success, with highlights including an NCAA Tournament appearance and achieving as high as a No. 5 AP ranking. He then joined the athletics communications department where he was the assistant men’s basketball sports information director for two seasons.
Before Baptist Prep, Surly spent 14 months working for ESPN at the company's headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, where he spearheaded strategy, content and production for SportsCenter social media platforms. He has covered major events including the 2017 NBA Finals, NBA Draft All-Access with Malik Monk, NCAA Final Fours and College Football Playoff National Championships in addition to others. He continues to work for ESPN in a part-time remote social media producer role.
A native of Rogers, Surly is a former player of Ross' at Rogers High School where he graduated in 2012. While at RHS, he was a part of two basketball academic state titles and conference runner-up finish in the 7A West. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Media Production from Oklahoma State in 2016, graduating with multiple prestigious university distinctions. He also obtained a minor in religious studies.
Surly, 26, recently received his Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He spent Summer 2018 coaching a collection of players from across the state on 16U Team Cooper alongside Marty Barnes, leading the team to a championship repeat at HoopPlay Nationals.