Jackie Stiles, who is considered one of the greatest Missouri State athletes in history, was named an assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma, according to a release by OU.

“I want to thank the administration, coaches, student-athletes and community at Missouri State for their constant support during my time as a player and as an assistant coach,” Stiles said in the release. “This opportunity at Oklahoma is something that I could not pass up and I am ready to join the Sooner Family.”

Stiles will head to OU after six years as an assistant coach under Kellie Harper. Harper left Missouri State for the head coaching job at Tennessee, her alma mater. Missouri State’s new head coach Amaka Agugua Hamilton said Stiles could have a job under her but that Stiles was pursuing other options.

Lady Bears officially have a new head coach

In Stiles’ coaching career, she helped the Lady Bears to six consecutive postseason trips, including the Sweet 16 run at the end of the 2018-19 season. The Lady Bears defeated No. 24 Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship for an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The Bears went on to defeat No. 24 DePaul and No. 13 Iowa State before losing 55-46 to No. 6 Stanford in the Sweet 16.

Lady Bears season ends

Stiles is the second all-time scorer in Division I women’s basketball with 3,393 points. She also led the Lady Bears to the Final Four in 2001. After scoring 1,062 points in her senior year, she was named the Honda Awards Player of the Year and won the Wade Trophy, an award given to the best Division I player.

Stiles was also drafted into the WNBA as the No. 4 overall pick to the Portland Fire. She was the first-ever Missouri State player drafted into the WNBA and earned the rookie of the year award for the league that season.

“Jackie’s resume speaks for itself,” OU head coach Sherri Coale said in the release. “Not only is she one of the most decorated players to ever play our game, but she is also a rising star in the coaching profession. Jackie has the unique ability to develop student-athletes to the height of their potential on the court, as she knows first-hand the mental and physical commitment that is necessary to excel at this level.”

Stiles was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, and she also has memberships in the Missouri State, MVC, Springfield Area, Missouri Sports and National High School halls of fame.

“We are excited to welcome her to our family, and we know she will make an instant impact on our team and coaching staff,” Coale said in the release.

Stiles’ hire at OU completes Coale’s staff for the 2019-20 season.

“I want to thank Sherri Coale for this opportunity to have a chance to work with one of the premier basketball programs in the country,” Stiles said in the release. “Coach Coale has been a part of my journey in collegiate basketball from the beginning, and I’m excited to have chance to learn from an outstanding hall of fame coach.”

Sports Editor

Amanda Sullivan is the Sports Editor at The Standard. She is a sophomore majoring in journalism with a double minor in Spanish and criminology. She started writing for The Standard in January 2018 writing about various sports and taking photos.

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