SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri State women’s basketball icon Jackie Stiles is leaving the school to be an assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma.
OU announced Wednesday that it hired Stiles, who has been on the Lady Bears coaching staff for six seasons under former coach Kellie Harper.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that Stiles is leaving as Amaka Agugua-Hamilton replaces Harper as Missouri State’s head coach.
Missouri State Athletics Director Kyle Moats declined to say if Stiles was considered for the head coaching job.
“I did pursue it and Missouri State went in a different direction,” Stiles said in a radio interview. “I understand things happen for a reason.”
Stiles held the Division I women’s basketball leading scorer record between 2001 and 2017. She led the Lady Bears to the 2001 NCAA Final Four and was the school’s first player to be drafted into the WNBA.
Stiles says she’s excited for the opportunity at OU.
“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. “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. 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. This opportunity at Oklahoma is something that I could not pass up and I am ready to join the Sooner Family.”
She is undergoing treatment for eye cancer, which was diagnosed in December 2017.