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The Missouri State Lady Bears basketball team has a new head coach.
President Clif Smart and Athletics Director Kyle Moats announced today that Kellie Harper has accepted the coaching position. She replaces former head coach Nyla Milleson, who was fired in March after earning 59-49 record in six seasons.
Harper comes to Missouri State from North Carolina State University, where she had coached since 2009. She reached the NCAA tournament her first season in Raleigh and compiled a 70-64 record overall before being fired in late March.
In a press conference today, Harper says while there’s some work to be done before the season starts, she doesn’t see next season as a rebuilding year, and expects to compete for the conference title immediately.
“We want to be a team that you love to watch, and as I told our young ladies this morning, that our opponents hate to play. We want to be tough, we want to have high energy, no matter what schemes we are doing offensively and defensively,” Harper said.
Harper, then Kellie Jolly, won three straight national championships as a player at the University of Tennessee from 1996 to 1998 under legendary coach Pat Summitt.