Posted by Habtom Keleta - Wed, Jun. 27, 2012 - [ Women's Basketball ] - Viewed 409 times
Coach Whittington instructs her team at the University of Oregon
Coach Whittington instructs her team at the University of Oregon
The women's basketball staff at the University of Memphis solidified its coaching vacancy with the recent hiring of associate head coach Keila Whittington it was announced by head coach Melissa McFerrin Tuesday.

"We are excited to add someone with Coach Whittington's experience to our staff," McFerrin said. "She brings high level recruiting and coaching experience, including Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight experience. She also brings our staff some extensive contacts on the East Coast and in the upper Midwest, both important recruiting areas for us."

A Louisiana native, Whittington is a 1989 graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans, where she earned a degree in Health and Physical Education. She then went on to receive her M.A. in Physical Education from Delaware in 1993. Upon earning her Master's Degree, Whittington excelled and enjoyed her first collegiate coaching job as a graduate assistant at Delaware, where she coached from 1991-1993. That collegiate job followed a stint as the assistant varsity girls' coach at McDonogh #35 High School in New Orleans.

"I have been blessed to receive so many great Division I coaching opportunities as a Dillard University Alum," said Coach Whittington. "Anytime I am asked about where I attended college, I proudly say Dillard University in New Orleans, La. I was groomed for greatness as a Dillard student-athlete, and I will always be proud alum." 

Whittington is not only heavily involved in basketball and coaching, but she has also donated her time and efforts to help those who are less fortunate than herself. She is responsible for organizing a supply relief drive consisting of non-perishable food items, water and toys that was sent to St. Bernard Parish in Chalmette, La., following Hurricane Katrina.

"We would like to congratulate her in another accomplishment in her career," said Kiki Barnes, Athletic Director at Dillard University. "She is a shining example of the kind of women that have come through the athletics program here at Dillard University."

She got her first full-time coaching job at Rhode Island (1993-1995). She worked her way up to the top assistant spot there and also served as the recruiting coordinator during the 1995 season.

Whittington has spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Oregon, where she coached the post players and served as the Ducks' recruiting coordinator, helping Oregon land nationally-ranked recruiting classes, including a top-50 ranked class by ESPN Hoopgurlz in 2011. As a post coach, Whittington has coached three student-athletes to Pac-10 all-conference honors.

Prior to joining the Ducks in April of 2009, Whittington served as an assistant coach at Marist (2007-09), where she helped guide the Red Foxes to back-to-back NCAA tournaments. In her time at Marist, the Red Foxes posted a mark of 61-7 over two seasons, winning two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular season and tournament championships.

Posting an undefeated MAAC regular season mark of 18-0 in 2008, Marist made a splash on the national scene, eventually finishing the season with a mark of 32-3, and finishing the season ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Similar to her experience with the Ducks, Whittington assisted in recruiting, helping land a top-50 ranked class in 2008, the program's first ever nationally-ranked recruiting class.

At Memphis, she will serve as the Tigers' post coach, inheriting a core of players that includes second team all-C-USA forward Nicole Dickson, junior KK Harvey, sophomore Ann Jones and newcomers Asianna Fuquay-Bey, Devin Mack and Courtney Powell. The Tigers will play the 2012-2013 seasons in Conference USA, then move to the Big East conference for the 2013-14 season.

*Photo provided by Eric Evans

Habtom Keleta

Sports Information Director