Lady Vols will hire Kellie Harper as head coach

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (United States) – Just over an hour after Tennessee Sports Director Phillip Fulmer announced that male basketball coach Rick Barnes would stay in Tennessee instead of leaving for UCLA, according to a report stating the vacancy of coach Lady Vols.

Chris Low, of ESPN, announced Monday night that former National Lady Vols champion Kellie Harper will be named the next women's basketball coach in Tennessee.

The news was first reported by Fox Sports Knoxville.

Harper will replace Holly Warlick, who was fired on March 27 after seven seasons. Harper played for the Lady Vols when Warlick was an assistant to Pat Summitt.

A native of Sparta, Tennessee, the state of Missouri has made it to Sweet 16 this season, her sixth with the program.

Harper, who was Kellie Jolly when she won three consecutive NCAA titles with Tennessee in 1996, 1997 and 1998, began her coaching career in 2000 as an assistant in Auburn then in Chattanooga. She became head coach at Western Carolina in 2004, leading the program to a school record of 97 wins in five seasons. She moved to North America in 2009 to replace the late Kay Yow, but did not live up to expectations. In four seasons, she only participated in an NCAA tournament tournament and ended in the first round.

Harper's career has turned in the right direction in the state of Missouri. She is 285-208 as the head coach. including a 118-79 mark in six seasons with the Lady Bears. Her husband, Jon, was part of his coaching staff in Western Carolina, in the state of North Carolina and in the state of Missouri.

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