Kellie Harper departs Missouri State for Tennessee

Missouri State
Posted at 6:35 AM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 07:35:23-04

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri State women's basketball coach Kellie Harper is returning to her alma mater.

Harper, 41, was hired as the Tennessee Lady Volunteers' new head coach, replacing Holly Warlick.

Warlick was fired on March 27 after finishing with a 19-13 record in 2018-2019 and a NCAA first round exit, which some Tennessee faithful consider subpar for that caliber of program.

Harper is leaving the Lady Bears after six seasons with the team. She helped lead Missouri State to three 20-win seasons, including this year. The Lady Bears finished their season 25-10 and made it to the NCAA Sweet 16. They eventually lost as an 11-seed to 6-seed Stanford 55-46, ending their magical NCAA tournament run.

Harper is only one of 11 coaches to lead three different schools to the NCAA tournament (Western Carolina, North Carolina State and Missouri State).

Harper returns to the the place where she played a prominent role as a point guard for the Lady Vols from 1995 to 1999. During that time, she won three national championships from 1996 to 1998 under the late Pat Summitt.