NEW YORK CITY (KSNT)- On March 21, 2022, almost exactly a year ago, K-State announced Jerome Tang would be the next head men’s basketball coach.

Tang, a long-time assistant at Baylor, was introduced to fans and media in Manhattan, Kansas, on March 24, 2022.

K-State Athletic Director Gene Taylor spoke with 27 News in New York City on Wednesday to explain why he chose to hire Coach Tang.

“More than anything, it was just his passion and energy,” Taylor said. “His presence. When he walked in a room, he had this presence about him that was very confident. It wasn’t over-confident. It wasn’t cocky. You could just tell he had a lot of confidence. The more he talked, the more that came out, the more I learned about him the more impressed I was with him.”

Tang has been open about his faith in God throughout year one. K-State was well aware of that when it made the hire. It’s the top priority for Tang.

“Obviously, it’s a public institution,” Taylor said. “You’ve got to be a little sensitive to it. We were very comfortable with it.”

For Tang, the ability to use his platform to share his faith was part of the deal.

“He said ‘If I can’t be myself, be faithful and express that, then I don’t know if I can work here,'” Taylor said. “We said ‘Absolutely.’ It’s been great. It’s fun. We love that.”