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Jackie Stiles exits MSU; new head coach makes changes

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Jackie Stiles, a Missouri State University Lady Bears basketball star 1997-2001 who’s been assistant coach for the past six seasons, is heading to a new position a state over.

The University of Oklahoma announced Wednesday Stiles was hired as assistant coach under Sooners women’s basketball head coach Sherri Coale.

“Jackie’s resume speaks for itself. 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,” Coale said in a news release. “Jackie has the unique ability to develop student-athletes to the height of their potential on the court, as she knows firsthand the mental and physical commitment that is necessary to excel at this level.”

In an interview yesterday with Springfield sports radio host Art Hains on Jock 98.7 FM, Stiles said she pursued the head coach job at MSU, which recently announced the hiring of Amaka “Mox” Agugua-Hamilton for the job.

"When the job came open at Missouri State, I just knew I had to pursue it because … I would always wonder what it would have been like if I had possibly got a head coaching job," Stiles said in the interview, which was provided to Springfield Business Journal by Hains and 98.7 FM and can be listened to here. "That's when the fire was really lit in me. I've never felt so alive in my life. Now, I want to continue to grow as a coach. That is my goal. Maybe one day I'll get to come back to Missouri State — the school I love so much and have so many amazing memories with."

It’s unclear if Stiles was a finalist or if she was granted an interview for the MSU job. MSU officials could not be reached for comment by deadline, and an attempt to reach Stiles was unsuccessful.

“I think they were looking for more experience. I just am so thankful and grateful for the opportunity I did have to coach at Missouri State for the past six years,” she said in the interview with Hains.

Also on Wednesday, coach Mox made her first key decisions as the new coach of the Lady Bears.

She hired assistant coaches Franqua Bedell, Seth Minter and Tori Jankoska, according to a separate news release.

Bedell, aka coach Q, worked the past six seasons as head women’s basketball coach of the Tallahassee Community College in Florida; Minter brings experience during the past eight years at Western Illinois University, where he was associate head coach for the past seven seasons, to his new role as recruiting coordinator for coach Mox; and Jankoska spent the 2018-19 season as director of recruitment operations and player personnel at University of Maryland after playing professionally.

"All three are great coaches with high character and integrity,” Agugua-Hamilton said in the release. “I am certain they will contribute in multiple areas as they are hard-working, self-motivated individuals with a wealth of knowledge and experience.”

The Lady Bears are fresh off a Sweet 16 appearance last month in the NCAA Tournament.

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