Tennessee Lady Vols have interest in MSU Lady Bears coach Kellie Harper, AD confirms
Tennessee has reached out to Missouri State expressing interest in women's basketball coach Kellie Harper, MSU Athletics Director Kyle Moats confirmed to the News-Leader on Monday.
"The University of Tennessee has contacted me to inform me they have interest in speaking with Coach Harper about their women's head coaching position," Moats said in a statement to the News-Leader on Monday.
The news was first reported by Dan Lucy of KOLR10 in Springfield on Twitter on Monday afternoon.
Harper, a former point guard under Pat Summitt at Tennessee, won three national championships as a player in Knoxville.
The Lady Bears head coach just led Missouri State to its fourth NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in program history and first since 2001.
Harper is set to make $246,640 annually at Missouri State and is due a $100,000 retention bonus if she is the head coach come April 14. She signed a contract extension before the 2018-19 season that runs through the 2021-22 season.
At Tennessee, Harper — formerly Kellie Jolly — was on three national championship teams and was named honorable mention All-American as a senior in 1999.
In her junior year, Harper led the Lady Vols to a perfect 39-0 record and a national championship while averaging 7.6 points and 3.8 assists per game. She also dropped a career-high 20 points in the national championship game against Louisiana Tech.
Harper set an NCAA championship record with 11 assists and dished out 20 in two games for All-Final Four honors in 1997 after returning from surgery.
She ended her career with 894 points and 452 assists.
Harper is in her 15th season as a head coach. She started her career with five seasons at Western Carolina before taking over at North Carolina State, where she was fired after four seasons.
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