Photos: New MSU Lady Bears Basketball Coach Named
The Lady Bears introduce new head coach Kellie Harper at JQH ArenaPhoto: Image by Chase Snider / KTTS News
Former North Carolina State Coach Kellie Jolly Harper has been introduced as the new Missouri State University Lady Bears Basketball Coach in a press conference at JQH Arena.
“I couldn’t be happier and more excited about this opportunity. This program has great tradition, fantastic facilities and a solid fan base,” said Harper. “It’s a fresh start for Lady Bears Basketball. The future is very bright, and we’re going to have high expectations to do something really special here.”
She'll make a base salary of $145,000 as part of her five-year agreement with Missouri State. Harper will earn another $60,000 for radio and television appearances.
Harper has earned her reputation with a nine-year record of 167-128, including three NCAA Tournament appearances and four WNIT berths in that span. Her teams have historically played their best in the postseason, as she holds a collective 22-13 record in conference tournaments, NCAA Tournaments, and WNIT games. In fact, in 18 seasons as a Division I head coach, assistant coach and player, Harper has made 15 postseason appearances with a combined 415-181 (.696) record, 11 NCAA Tournament appearances and four WNIT bids.
Former Player, Ready To Connect With Community
Lady Bears players tell KTTS News they are excited to have someone at the reigns that knows what it is like to be in their shoes during post-season.
The former Kellie Jolly played on three national championship clubs at Tennessee for the legendary Pat Summitt and earned honorable mention all-America honors as a senior in 1999.
Harper says she's excited to be in Springfield and looks forward to making herself available in the community.
“My first priorities are the team, the staff and our recruits,” said Harper. “We’ll get started on those things right away. I met our players this morning, and we’ll get the chance to work out tomorrow for the first time. I’ll start contacting our signees today and then start working toward getting our coaching staff in place.”
She replaces Nyla Milleson, whose contract was not renewed after six seasons at the helm of the Lady Bears.
Major Changes Coming To Season Ticket Plans
Athletic Director Kyle Moats also previewed major changes in store for the Lady Bear's season ticket plan. He announced that most lower bowl season ticket plans will drop to $120 with no seat assessment. That less than half the $259 many fans paid last year.
Bleacher seats will also drop to $80 for a season ticket.