A seismic opening has now been filled, as Tennessee is set to hire Missouri State head coach Kellie Harper as its new women’s basketball coach, per multiple reports. The news was reported first by Fox Sports Knoxville.
Last month, we first reported the impending firing of head coach Holly Warlick and that also, Kellie Harper was one of the top candidates for the position. And while Tennessee AD Phillip Fulmer interviewed a slew of candidates, which included Kara Lawson, Nikki Fargas and others, Harper was the one that rose to the top. Harper, who played at Tennessee (Kellie Jolly), had a historical run at Missouri State, which culminated with a run to the Sweet 16.
Fargas was informed yesterday that the Lady Vols were going in a different direction. Another name that was mentioned continuously, Louisville’s Jeff Walz, was never seriously considered, sources tell The Ball Out. Tennessee 247 sports writer, Maria Cornelius, has a very in-depth background on Harper — and her connection to the late Pat Summitt.
More story details coming shortly, especially how this all came together.