Former player announced as new Lady Vols head coach

Report: Missouri State women’s coach Kellie Harper heading to Tennessee, her alma mater | The Kansas City Star

After a coaching search that mentioned everyone from established veterans like Jeff Walz and Kim Mulkey, to Tennessee alums who have never coached at the collegiate level like Kara Lawson, the school has finally settled on a mixture of the two: Kellie Harper.

According to multiple reports, Missouri State head coach Kellie Jolly Harper will be named UT's new head coach.

Harper comes from Missouri State where she spent six seasons coaching, and led the Bears to a 25-10 record including a Sweet 16 appearance in the Women's NCAA Tournament. During that time, she won three national championships from 1996 to 1998 under the late Pat Summitt.

Kellie Harper is riding Missouri State's Sweet 16 run all the way home.

Before coaching at Missouri State, Harper, 41, was previously the head coach at North Carolina State and Western Carolina, getting her first head coaching job was she was just 27. "Her love for the game, her care and love for her players and her loyalty to UT all came through during the interview process".

Harper was sacked by NC State in 2013 after going 70-64 in four seasons and promptly landed at Missouri State, which she has led twice to the NCAA Tournament.

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"Kellie has proven to be a victor at every stop in her career, taking three programs to the NCAA Tournament".

The initial reaction has been mixed, as her recent success cannot be ignored, but nor can her underwhelming stay at NC State.

Fulmer also added: "She certainly knows the expectations that come with this job, as she has lived it herself".

"I am incredibly humbled and honored to be named the head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols", Harper said. She was an assistant coach at Auburn and Chattanooga before becoming a head coach.

Tennessee went 19-13 this season, received one of the last couple of at-large spots into the NCAA Tournament and lost to UCLA in the opening round.

Warlick was 172-67 at UT, leading the Lady Vols to the Elite Eight three times. Tennessee has failed to finish better than tied for fourth in the SEC in the past four seasons.

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