Watch: Missouri State introduces Beth Cunningham as new Girl Bears coach
Beth Cunningham is formally launched as the brand new head coach of the Missouri State Girl Bears on Thursday, March 31, 2022.
Nathan Papes, Springfield Info Officer
No person within the Missouri State Girl Bears is aware of what it is prefer to undergo a training change fairly like Sydney Wilson.
The senior can have her third head coach in 5 years with this system. Initially recruited by Kellie Harper from Overland Park, Kansas, Wilson was a constant contributor to the Cinderella Candy 16 crew of 2019. The profitable run put the Girl Bears again within the nationwide highlight, nevertheless it led to Harper being employed by the Tennessee, his foster mom.
Missouri State then employed Amaka Agugua-Hamilton who continued the success. A 3-year run with the Girl Bears 74-15 on the stretch with a pair of NCAA Tournaments, together with an additional Candy 16 look, and an additional season that was destined for a deep NCAA Event run if not not canceled because of the begin of the pandemic.
After the success of “Coach Mox”, she was employed earlier than returning to her dwelling nation and changing into Virginia’s head coach.
With one season of eligibility remaining, Wilson knew she needed to stay a Girl Bear whilst she watched her teammates from an unimaginable streak graduate or switch. However as soon as Missouri State introduced it had employed former Notre Dame affiliate head coach and Duke assistant Beth Cunningham as its subsequent head coach, Wilson was comfy considering she would have a profitable third head coach.
“I nonetheless cannot consider she’s my head coach,” Wilson stated. “Her resume, when she acquired right here I used to be like ‘wow’ and I am nonetheless dumbfounded. She would not actually care that she goes by that title with Muffet McGraw and Duke. She’s simply her personal self and I actually like that about her.”
Cunningham is days away from embarking on his first season as head coach of the Missouri State Girl Bears. She already has profitable head teaching expertise at Virginia Commonwealth earlier than returning to her alma mater, Notre Dame, the place she was as soon as a standout participant whereas main the Preventing Irish to the primary Closing 4 look in historical past. from this system.
On the Notre Dame workers, Cunningham was an affiliate head coach beneath the legendary McGraw. She was a part of one of the profitable streaks in NCAA ladies’s historical past with the Irish 244-19 from 2012-2020, which included seven consecutive 30-win seasons, six convention titles, 5 Closing Fours, the 2018 nationwide championship and a runner. end in 2019.
After McGraw’s retirement, Cunningham spent two years as an assistant at Duke beneath Kara Lawson earlier than being employed by Missouri State this offseason.
“I am unable to consider it has been seven or eight months as a result of I really feel like yesterday was my introductory press convention,” Cunningham stated not too long ago. “You take a look at it now with the season simply across the nook with the house opener towards Missouri and it is gone so quick. I really feel like we have achieved so much in a short while. “
For Wilson, the largest distinction between this teaching change and the final was the turnover on the roster.
Agugua-Hamilton picked up a younger squad coming off a Candy 16 look. After three seasons, the vast majority of these gamers have graduated, together with large names in this system like Brice Calip and Elle Ruffridge. Jasmine Franklin, coming off a torn ACL halfway by way of the 2021-22 season, opted to commerce to play beneath Harper at Tennessee.
That left Cunningham needing to construct a roster in a means that Agugua-Hamilton by no means needed to. 5 of the gamers signed up from 2021 to 2022 have remained with this system and three of the freshmen signed to play for Coach Mox have determined to stay with their MSU dedication.
“We clearly had so much to do by way of constructing a roster and constructing a training workers,” Cunningham stated. “Then we needed to educate a brand new system offensively and defensively and attempt to bond on and off the pitch making an attempt to get to know one another and all these issues. That is why I say you all the time really feel that there is not sufficient time within the day since you continually need to do extra to place your self in the absolute best place.”
New gamers on the pitch will embrace the likes of Kansas switch Aniya Thomas, Dayton switch Capria Brown, Colorado switch Kennedy Taylor and former Kickapoo standout and Moberly Space Neighborhood School switch Indya Inexperienced.
With Wilson, Paige Rocca, Ifunanya Nwachukwu and Isabelle Delarue returning, Taylor Woodhouse is anticipated to have extra affect after sitting out final season nursing a knee harm she suffered in her senior 12 months of highschool. Freshman Jade Masogayo is the one who Cunningham thinks is more likely to have a right away affect.
The brand new system Cunningham will set up, offensively, will resemble what she discovered at Notre Dame beneath McGraw, whereas protection will resemble that of MSU in years previous.
“We’ll be very completely different offensively than they have been earlier than,” Cunningham stated. “That they had a variety of expertise in guard video games and we’re dominant inside and I like our dimension and power inside. I copied the Princeton model much more and a little bit of what the Celtics did once I was at Duke and what Kara Lawson did and among the issues that she introduced in. It is simply gonna be a special model and it is form of fascinating as a result of I feel a few of our children match to that.
Cunningham takes over a crew that was chosen to complete sixth within the Missouri Valley Convention – one thing his crew’s gamers actually roll their eyes at. This system hasn’t ranked sixth within the MVC since 2013–14, the final time this system completed the 12 months with a dropping report.
When the ball kicks off Nov. 7 at Nice Southern Financial institution Enviornment with the Girl Bears taking up Mizzou, the Girl Bears can have their third completely different head coach prior to now 5 years.
Missouri State can solely hope that Cunningham brings the identical success because the earlier two – and perhaps much more.
“I feel if we management the issues we will management, let the chips fall the place they’ll,” Cunningham stated. “You possibly can’t management a variety of issues, however there are non-negotiable issues that we deal with. In every single place I have been, if we have been profitable in these issues that actually don’t have anything to do with expertise, we put ourselves in a superb place.”
2022-23 Missouri State Girl Bears Schedule
- November 2 — Missouri S&T (exhibition)
- November 7 — Mizzou
- November 15 — St. Louis
- November 17 – Oklahoma State
- Nov. 25 – vs. UTSA (Las Vegas)
- November 26 – vs. Center Tennessee (Las Vegas)
- December 4 – @ Toledo
- December 9 – @TCU
- December 17 – UT Martin
- December 21 – Little Rock
- December 29 – @ Indiana State
- December 31 – @Evansville
- January 5 – State of Illinois
- January 7 – Bradley
- January 11 – Southern Illinois
- January 14 — @ Valparaiso
- January 20 — @ Belmont
- January 22 – @ Murray State
- January 26 – Northern Iowa
- January 28 – Drake
- February 1 – @ Southern Illinois
- February 4 – Illinois Chicago
- February 10 – @Bradley
- February 12 – @ State of Illinois
- February 19 – Belmont
- February 23 – Evansville
- February 25 – Indiana State
- March 2 — @Drake
- March 4 – @ Northern Iowa
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist for the Springfield Information-Chief. You possibly can contact him at 417-371-6987, by e mail at [email protected] or Twitter at @WyattWheeler_NL. He’s additionally a co-host of Sports activities Discuss on Jock Radio weekdays from 4-6 p.m.
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