With the women’s college basketball season officially being over, there are storylines we can over for days. From players graduating or turning pro, the college basketball offseason will have key moments that should help define the following campaign.
One of the many storylines to focus on this offseason is coaching vacancies.
Many coaches were either dismissed or left for other coaching opportunities. Universities will be tasked with searching for a quality replacement to either pick up where the previous coach left off or improve on the failures.
Here are some programs who are key in finding a replacement.
Missouri State Lady Bears
Kellie Harper did a fantastic job making this program successful.
In the six seasons with Harper as head coach, Missouri State went 118-79 overall and 78-30 in the Missouri Valley Conference. This past season was, arguably, the most successful stint. The Lady Bears not only won the MVC tournament title, the team advanced to Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. Now, Missouri State must search for a new head coach.
Kellie Harper decided to take the head coaching position for the Tennessee Lady Volunteers. Whoever comes to be the head coach will have a talented roster to work with. The only departure Missouri State has is Danielle Gitzen. The lone senior averaged 13 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the Lady Bears.
The good news for Missouri State is that Alexa Willard, Brice Calip and Jasmine Franklin are all returning. The roster for the Lady Bears is going to be loaded. Fortunately for the new head coach, they should still make noise in the Missouri Valley. Possibly, this team could have a repeat run in the NCAA Tournament.
Miami (OH) Redhawks
This program wasn’t exactly killing it before before Megan Duffy arrived. For instance, the four seasons prior to Duff saw Miami (OH) go a combined 35-87. The Redhawks may not be a top program in the Mid-American Conference, Duffy had them improving.
In two seasons as head coach, Megan Duffy went 44-20, with two appearances in the Women’s NIT. Unfortunately, the program will not have the former WNBA player as head coach next year. Marquette hired Megan Duffy after Carolyn Kieger left to coach Penn State. With Duffy at the helm, Miami (OH) had back-to-back 20-win seasons. It is the first time the program accomplished this feat since the 1980s.
The Redhawks will be an experienced team come next season. Juniors Lauren Dickerson and Savannah Kluesner will be looked upon to help lead the program and give a boost for the new head coach. Miami (OH) wants to continue this run and possibly earn its second NCAA Tournament appearance. The team has not been to the tournament since 2008.
St. Francis (PA)
The Red Flash will look to continue its run in the Northeast Conference. It will have to do so, however, with a new head coach.
After taking a leave of absence in November, Joe Haigh announced that he would be stepping down as head coach back in January. With Haigh as head coach, St. Francis (PA) went 93-100 overall and 66-42 in the NEC. The Red Flash would win two NEC championships and make one appearance in the NCAA Tournament during his tenure.
Nevertheless, the Red Flash will be looking to improve on last season. The team made it to the NEC tournament final this past season. However, next season the team will not have Jess Kovatch. The NEC Player of the Year averaged 21.7 points and 4 rebounds per game last season.
St. Francis (PA) will still come back next season with a gifted roster that will be a threat in the NEC once again. The new coach will look to continue the success Joe Haigh started.
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