-University of Memphis
MEMPHIS – The University of Memphis women’s basketball staff rounded out its staff for the 2012-13 season with the hiring of assistant coach Keila Whittington it was announced by head coach Melissa McFerrin Tuesday.
“We’re excited to add someone with coach Whittington’s experience to our staff,” McFerrin said. “She brings very high level recruiting and coaching experience, including Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight experience. She also brings our staff some extensive contacts on the East Coast and in the upper Midwest, both important recruiting areas for us.”
Whittington has spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Oregon, where she has coached the post players and served as the Ducks’ recruiting coordinator, helping Oregon land nationally-ranked recruiting classes, including a top-50 ranked class by ESPN Hoopgurlz in 2011. As a post coach, Whittington has coached three student-athletes to Pac-10 all-conference honors.
“With the addition of coach Whittington, we add someone who can not only develop post players, but we also add someone who has dedicated her life to coaching the game of women’s basketball,” McFerrin said.
Prior to joining the Ducks in April of 2009, Whittington served as an assistant coach at Marist (2007-09), where she helped guide the Red Foxes to back-to-back NCAA tournaments. In her time at Marist, the Red Foxes posted a mark of 61-7 over two seasons, winning two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular season and tournament championships. Posting an undefeated MAAC regular season mark of 18-0 in 2008, Marist made a splash on the national scene, eventually finishing the season with a mark of 32-3 and finishing the season ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Similar to her experience with the Ducks, Whittington assisted in recruiting, helping land a top-50 ranked class in 2008, the program’s first-ever nationally-ranked recruiting class.
Whittington spent the six seasons prior to her time at Marist as an assistant coach at Penn State University (2001-07). At Penn State, she was in charge of recruiting, signing the 22nd ranked recruiting class in 2007 and the No. 34 ranked player in the nation. During her stint with Penn State, the Nittany Lions made four consecutive trips to the NCAA, won two Big Ten Conference championships (2003 & 2004), and made two Sweet Sixteen (2002 & 2003) and one Elite Eight (2004) appearances.
No stranger to the South, Whittington also spent the 2000-2001 season as an assistant coach at South Alabama, serving as the Jaguars recruiting coordinator. That year, the team won its first-ever Sun Belt Conference Tournament game and tied its highest win total in 10 years.
Similar to McFerrin, Whittington has multiple stops in the Big 10 on her resume. From 1995-2000, she served as an assistant coach at Indiana, again serving as a recruiting coordinator. With the Hoosiers, she also served as an assistant coach on the Big Ten All-Star Tour in 1997, traveling to Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Whittington got her first full time coaching job at Rhode Island (1993-95). She worked her way up to the top assistant spot there and also served as the recruiting coordinator during the 1995 season.
Her first collegiate coaching job was as a graduate assistant at Delaware, where she coached from 1991-1993. That collegiate job followed a stint as the assistant varsity girls’ coach at McDonogh #35 High School in New Orleans.
A Louisiana native, Whittington is a 1989 graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans, where she earned a degree in Health & Physical Education. She then went on to receive her M.A. in Physical Education from Delaware in 1993.
Whittington also brings a wealth of community involvement with her to the Tigers. She organized a supply relief drive consisting of non-perishable food items, water and toys that was sent to St. Bernard Parish in Chalmette, La., following Hurricane Katrina.
At Memphis, she will serve as the Tigers’ post coach, inheriting a core of players that includes second team all-C-USA forward Nicole Dickson, junior KK Harvey, sophomore Ann Jones and newcomers Asianna Fuquay-Bey, Devin Mack and Courtney Powell. The Tigers will play the 2012-13 season in Conference USA, then move to the BIG EAST Conference in the 2013-14 season.