Former Western Kentucky women’s basketball coach Mary Taylor Cowles will join the 2013 staff of Kentucky Premier, an Amateur Athletic Union program.
David Tapley, director of Kentucky Premier, confirmed Sunday that Cowles has accepted a coaching position with the program.
Talks between Tapley and Cowles began Tuesday at the Glasgow-Allen County-Scottsville girls’ basketball game, he said.
“I told her, ‘You need to be coaching,'” Tapley said. “She just jumped right on it. We went to Bowling Green (on Saturday) night and met with her, and she said she was on board.”
Cowles will coach one of Kentucky Premier’s older teams, likely the 16- or 17-year-olds, Tapley said. Her daugher, Caroline, an eighth-grader at South Warren Middle School, has joined the Premier program.
Cowles finished with a 199-119 record during her 10-year stint as WKU’s coach but was fired March 8 following a 9-21 season.
She led the Lady Toppers to two Sun Belt Conference Tournament championships and seven postseason appearances during her tenure, including two NCAA tournament appearances, and was named the league’s coach of the year three times.
“Obviously, she brings tons of experience,” Tapley said. “She brings the college experience. She’ll be a great mentor for our kids, in terms of what they need to work on for their college game and what college coaches will look for. That’s what we’re always trying to do – find great coaches and good role models.”
Cowles will start with Kentucky Premier in the spring, when she’ll help coach Jarrad Parmley lead skill sessions starting a week after the girls’ state tournament.
Kentucky Premier’s current roster has several WKU targets, including LaRue County junior Ivy Brown, Meade County sophomore Morgan Turner, ACS sophomore Morgan Rich and Glasgow freshman Breanna Glover.
The program just recently began expanding into the Bowling Green area, Tapley said.
“Most of those good, young kids in Bowling Green are coming to us,” he said.