In front of a packed room at JQH Arena’s Prime Overtime Club, Missouri State President Clif Smart and Athletic Director Kyle Moats made it official: Amaka Agugua-Hamilton is the new head women’s basketball coach.
Agugua-Hamilton, known as “Coach Mox”, joins the Lady Bears after a stint as Associate Head Coach at Michigan State University.
“This is an exciting day for Missouri State University Lady Bears basketball,” President Smart told the crowd. He said that when University leadership heard that the University of Tennessee had fired their women’s basketball coach, they prepared to put the wheels in motion to find a new coach for the Lady Bears because they knew the Tennessee job was “the job of a lifetime” for Kellie Harper.
Smart said there was a “tremendous advisory committee” that helped them with the process of deciding Agugua-Hamilton was the right choice for the school.
Athletic Director Moats told the crowd that “Coach Mox” had everything they wanted in a head coach.
“She has worked tirelessly for the chance to be a head coach,” Moats said. “She has earned the respect of her colleagues and mentors, who have all praised her. And I believe she is ready to sit in the chair.”
“She’s a player’s coach,” Moats continued. “Detail oriented, disciplined, high integrity, community oriented, an excellent recruiter, and is invested in the student-athletes to make them great people first, great basketball players second.”
The new coach was then greeted with cheers, a pep band and a standing ovation.
“I am super extremely excited and overjoyed to be the Missouri State Lady Bears head coach,” Agagua-Hamilton said after her formal introduction. “It’s truly a blessing. It’s a blessing to be a such a program with such a rich history, tremendous administrative support, tremendous community support and very talented players.”
“I am so excited and ready for this journey ahead!”
The new coach had met with her players this morning and all of the Lady Bears who spoke with the media said were excited to have “Coach Mox” leading their squad.
“Her energy as soon as she walked through the door just matched ours,” sophomore Brice Calip said.
“I know that we hit the jackpot,” sophomore Bri Ellis added.