Two days after the job officially became vacant, the University of Central Arkansas is set to introduce a new women’s basketball coach Thursday afternoon and all signs point to Sandra Rushing, the highly successful coach at Delta State. On Wednesday afternoon, sources in social media had singled out Rushing as the new head coach.
Dr. Brad Teague, University of Central Arkansas’ athletic director who promised to move quickly after Matt Daniel was officially introduced Tuesday afternoon as Marshall University coach, has operated with sprinter’s speed.
Tuesday, he reportedly interviewed Tony Kemper, Daniel’s associate head coach for two seasons and a former member of former men’s coach Rand Chappell’s staff at UCA.
Wednesday, several sources reported sightings on the UCA campus of Rushing, who has compiled a 354-57 record and led her teams to six Gulf South Conference titles in 10 seasons at Delta State, a perennial Division II power. She was the coach of the Lady Statesmen when Teague was athletic director of Delta State.
UCA does not have a female head coach in any sport.
Rushing’s latest team finished 22-7 and was No. 5in the country when it lost to No. 1 Rollins in the NCAA Division II South Regional in March. It marked the first time Delta State had not made the Division II Sweet Sixteen in six years.
Her best team compiled a 33-1 record in 2007-08, losing to South Dakota in the final four. The Lady Statesmen returned to the final four the next season.
A native of Biloxi, Miss., she has also coached at Henderson State (2002) and Texas-El Paso, where she became the winngest women’s coach in school history. She was Co-Coach of the Year in the Western Athletic Conferende in 1997-98.
She played college basketball at the University of Alabama, where she became the all-time leader in free throw percentage for the Tide women.
If Kemper does not get the UCA job, it is speculated that he is likely to join Daniel’s staff at Marshall.