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5 candidates to interchange Kyra Elzy as Kentucky’s girls’s basketball coach, together with Tomekia Reed

After four seasons, the Kyra Elzy era is over at Kentucky. The Wildcats announced Elzy’s dismissal as their head women’s basketball coach in a press release issued Monday morning. In a statement, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said: “I appreciate Kyra for her efforts at Kentucky, on and off the court, and wish her and

5 candidates to interchange Kyra Elzy as Kentucky’s girls’s basketball coach, together with Tomekia Reed


After 4 seasons, the Kyra Elzy period is over at Kentucky. The Wildcats introduced Elzy’s dismissal as their head girls’s basketball coach in a press launch issued Monday morning.

In an announcement, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart mentioned: “I admire Kyra for her efforts at Kentucky, on and off the court docket, and want her and her household one of the best sooner or later.”

Elzy’s firing marks the primary opening at a serious convention college within the teaching carousel cycle of the 2024 offseason. Kentucky says it would start a nationwide search to discover a successor for Elzy, who went 61-60 throughout 4 seasons.

The 45-year-old Elzy – who gained two national championships as a participant for Pat Summitt at Tennessee within the late Nineteen Nineties – bought the Kentucky job when longtime Wildcats coach Matthew Mitchell retired simply earlier than the beginning of the 2020-21 season. Elzy had been the affiliate head coach for the Wildcats from 2106 to 2020. After main Kentucky to the second spherical of the NCAA event because the interim coach, Elzy bought the full-time gig the following season and led the Wildcats to a shocking upset of South Carolina for the SEC Match title.

However since then – and because the departure of All-American Rhyne Howard – Kentucky has posted back-to-back shedding seasons below Elzy the place the Wildcats went 6-26 in SEC play.

Between 2010 and 2022 – below the course of Mitchell after which Elzy – the Wildcats went to 11 NCAA tournaments, completed ranked within the AP Prime 25 Ballot 12 occasions, and topped 20 wins in 10 seasons. Merely put, the Wildcats are used to profitable. And Kentucky is a spot with assets and deep pockets, and it’s additionally a spot that simply invested $82 million into renovating Memorial Coliseum, the place its girls’s faculty basketball crew performs.

Per a number of sources, anticipate Kentucky to take a significant swing with its subsequent girls’s basketball coach. Don’t see them hiring an assistant. Will go after a sitting P6 head coach (maybe one within the SEC) or a confirmed mid-major coach (for instance, Tomekia Reed at Jackson State).

— Mitchell Northam (@primetimeMitch) March 11, 2024

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And so, Kentucky shall be a job that draws quite a lot of good candidates. Beneath are a number of names that might be within the combine.

Jackson State Girl Tigers’ Assistant Coach Chase Campbell and Head Coach Tomekia Reed yell throughout the sport in opposition to Texas Southern Girl Tigers at Lee E. Williams Athletic and Meeting Middle in Jackson, Miss., on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.

For the fifth straight season, Reed has coached Jackson State to the highest of the SWAC standings and can have the No. 1 seed coming into the convention event this week – driving an 18-game win streak. She’s amassed a report of 122-51 there and twice taken the Tigers to the NCAA event. In 2022, they gave their first-round opponent, LSU, a extremely robust sport, shedding by simply six factors.

Earlier than Reed turned Jackson State’s head coach in 2018, she coached at Hinds Neighborhood Faculty and was an assistant at Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette and New Orleans. She is aware of the south extremely effectively, one thing that ought to assist tremendously on the recruiting path ought to Kentucky goal her.

GCU Lopes head coach Molly Miller yells out to her crew as they tackle the ASU Solar Devils at GCU Enviornment in Phoenix on Nov. 30, 2022.

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A 37-year-old native of Missouri, Miller is wrapping up her fourth season at Grand Canyon and hoping to guide the Lopes to their first-ever Division I NCAA event look this season. Miller is 85-34 general at Grand Canyon has twice beforehand led the Lopes to the WAC Match remaining. Final season, she was the WAC Coach of the 12 months.

Earlier than taking up at Grand Canyon, Miller coached at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri. In 2020, she guided the crew to a 32-0 report and the No. 1 seed within the Division II NCAA event earlier than it was canceled resulting from COVID-19. She gained 5 convention titles there.

Marshall Thundering Herd guard Abby Beeman (4) blocks the shot of Purdue Boilermakers guard Lasha Petree (11) throughout NCAA girls’s basketball sport, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, at Mackey Enviornment in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue gained 73-61.

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In her first season with Marshall, Caldwell has guided the Herd to a 26-6 report – and a 17-1 mark in Solar Belt play – and a convention event championship, giving Marshall its first NCAA event bid since 1997.

Caldwell has gained wherever she has been. Earlier than she made the leap to Division I final yr, the West Virginia native coached Division II Glenville State to a report of 191-24 in seven seasons. She gained a Division II nationwide championship in 2022 – and was named the WBCA Coach of the 12 months – and went again to the Remaining 4 in 2023.

Not but in her 40s, Caldwell has already gained a bunch of video games and made a reputation for herself in teaching circles. She grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia, lower than 4 hours away from Lexington, Kentucky.

BLACKSBURG, VA – MARCH 17: Head coach Shawn Poppie of the Chattanooga Mocs appears on within the first half throughout the first spherical of the NCAA Girls’s Basketball Match in opposition to the Virginia Tech Hokies at Cassell Coliseum on March 17, 2023 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Picture by Ryan Hunt/Getty Photographs)

Poppie is ending up his second season at Chattanooga and he’s guiding the Mocs to their second straight NCAA event look after profitable the SoCon event once more. That feat appears much more spectacular when it’s famous that Chattanooga went 7-23 within the season previous to Poppie’s arrival.

Earlier than he turned a head coach in southeastern Tennessee, Poppie was an assistant at Virginia Tech from 2016 to 2022, serving to Kenny Brooks construct the program into what it is now. Poppie had moved on to Chattanooga earlier than the Hokies made their Remaining 4 run final season and gained the ACC regular-season title this yr – clearly – however he had a hand in recruiting gamers like Aisha Sheppard, Georgia Amoore and Elizabeth Kitley. Poppie served because the Hokies’ affiliate head coach and defensive coordinator for his remaining two seasons in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Poppie is thought to be an ace recruiter and a rising star in girls’s basketball teaching circles. Whether or not its Kentucky or some place else, the Illinois native and Limestone Faculty product shall be in control of a serious convention program sooner relatively than later.

Mississippi State Head Coach Sam Purcell on the court docket throughout the second half of the SEC Girls’s Basketball Match sport three on the Bon Secours Wellness Enviornment in Greenville, S.C. Thursday, March 7, 2024.

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This might be a really large swing for Kentucky to take, but it surely’s not inconceivable. It’s no secret that relating to the SEC meals chain by way of cash, assets and desirability, Kentucky is close to the highest and Mississippi State is close to the underside.

Purcell is ending up his second season main the Bulldogs in Starkville, and for the second straight season they’ve gained greater than 20 video games and are projected to make the NCAA event. Purcell gained two event video games final yr, beating Illinois within the First 4, then pulling off an upset win over No. 6 Creighton. Below Purcell, Mississippi State additionally notched an enormous upset win earlier this season, beating then-ranked No. 9 LSU on nationwide tv.

Earlier than taking the reins at Mississippi State, Purcell was one in every of Jeff Walz’s high lieutenants at Kentucky’s in-state rival, Louisville, from 2013 to 2022. Purcell helped Louisville win 4 ACC regular-season titles and make two journeys to the Remaining 4.

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