Lady Topper coaching candidates

Mary Taylor Cowles was fired today, as announced by AD Ross Bjork in a press release. Bjork will comment further in a news conference at 4:30 p.m. today.

Here is an early list – and folks, I can’t stress enough how primitive this list is – of obvious names to be in the running for the job. They’re listed in alphabetical order:

Possible coaching candidates

Kyra Elzy, currently associate head coach at Kentucky

– Been assistant at UK for four years, promoted to associated head coach in 2010
– Recruiting coordinator and coaches guards
– UK has inked three-straight top-10 recruiting classes during her tenure, including four McDonald’s All-Americans
– Spent four years at Kansas, helped them land first top-20 recruiting class
– Before that, two years at WKU under Cowles; worked as recruiting coordinator
– Won two national championships as player at Tennessee

Michelle Clark-Heard, currently in fifth year as assistant at Louisville

– Cardinals have made three Sweet Sixteens during her tenure, including national runner-up finish in 2009
– Had recruiting classes in top 12 in each of her first four seasons, including top-10 classes in the last three years
– Before that, head coach for two seasons at Kentucky State; team won one game in 2004-05 before she arrived. Went 19-9 in 06-07 in her final year
– Before that, was an assistant at Cincinnati for three years
– Been with Louisville coach Jeff Walz before – coached with him for three seasons at Nebraska under Paul Sanderford. Assistant at Nebraska for four years total
– After graduating from WKU, worked eight years in recreational sports setting, while also working as high school coach in Louisville
– 6-foot, 2-inch center played for Sanderford at WKU, made four straight NCAA tournaments

Matt Insell, currently in fourth year an assistant at Kentucky

– Recruits and coaches guards with Elzy
– UK has inked three-straight top-10 recruiting classes, including four McDonald’s All-Americans
– Previously Director of Ops at Louisiana Tech, coached AAU Tennessee Flight; 41 of his AAU players advanced to Division I basketball
– Attended Tennessee, where he worked in different capacities for the men’s and women’s programs as a student assistant/instructor
– Son of current MTSU women’s coach Rick Insell

Nikki McCray, currently an assistant at South Carolina

– Joined South Carolina in 2008
– Started her coaching career at WKU under Cowles; part of staff that won Sun Belt title in 2007-08
– Recruited former WKU standout guard Amy McNear
– Played professionally for 11 seasons (nine in WNBA), three-time WNBA All-Star
– Won gold medals at the Olympics in 1996 and 2000
– Won two SEC tournament titles as a player at Tennessee

Tim Riley, currently in first year as assistant at WKU

– 307-128 record in 14 seasons at Warren Central High School
– Eight state tournament appearances, state title in 2004
– Coach at Larue County and Caverna before that – 388-215 total in 21 seasons
– Student assistant at WKU under Clem Haskins

Camryn Whitaker, currently in first year as assistant at WKU

– Spent three years at Missouri State, heavily involved in recruiting
– MSU won 56 games in her three years, including 20-plus in last two
– Before that, two years at Austin Peay – had been in corporate business sector right out of WKU
– Started 117 of 126 games at WKU; postseason apperances in each of her five seasons
– Third all-time in assists, sixth in games started

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