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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ole Miss names Brett Frank acting head coach

BLOG: Ole Miss recently announced that assistant coach Brett Frank has been elevated to interim head coach of the women’s basketball team.

This move made the most sense considering Frank is a long-time assistant of Adrian Wiggins and can theoretically build on what his former head coach was attempting to do with the program. He’s obviously been at all of the team’s pre-season and summer practices and was actually running the program for a bit while Wiggins was in the process of relocating from Fresno State.

On April 12, I wrote “Frank accepts challenge that awaits Lady Rebels staff.” Seems that has a bit more meaning now than it did at the time.

Below is the university’s release on Frank’s promotion:

Brett Frank has been named the acting head coach for the Ole Miss women’s basketball program for the 2012-13 season, Athletics Director Ross Bjork announced today.

In addition, Rebecca Kates-Taylor will continue to serve as assistant coach, while Taja Edwards has been elevated from coordinator of video services to assistant coach.

“We believe Brett is the leader and stabilizing presence our team and program needs during this difficult time,” Bjork said. “I have been impressed with how our team has responded to Brett and the staff during the past few days.  In addition, our players expressed great support for Brett, and we are confident he has the strength and love for our student-athletes necessary to lead them athletically, academically and socially.  I want to thank the entire Ole Miss family for the support expressed for our team and program.”

Frank, who is in his 17th season in the college coaching ranks, has been a part of five NCAA Tournament appearances and eight postseason appearances at the Division I level.

“I care deeply for these student-athletes, and I will do everything in my power to help them move forward and compete at a high level both on and off the court,” said Frank. “I am grateful to Ross for the support he has shown our team and the confidence he has expressed in me. These are challenging circumstances, and I look forward to seeing these talented young women continue to mature and remain focused on this season.”

Prior to Ole Miss, Frank spent nine years at Fresno State, serving as the Associate Head Coach during the 2011-12 and 2110-11 seasons.

Frank played an important role in the Bulldogs’ history-making season in 2011-12. Fresno State set a school record for wins (28) while advancing to its fifth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2010-11, the Bulldogs went 25-8 overall and 14-2 in conference action.

In 2009-10, the Bulldogs won a then-school record 27 games (27-7), became the first WAC school to go undefeated in conference play (16-0) since Louisiana Tech in 2002-03 and earned the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament at-large berth.

Fresno State enjoyed a magical season in 2008-09 when the team repeated as WAC regular season and tournament champions, earning its second-straight berth in the NCAA Tournament. In 2007-08, Frank helped guide the Bulldogs to the school’s first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bulldogs finished their record-breaking year with a 22-11 record and a 14-2 conference mark.

With Fresno State, Frank was heavily involved in scheduling the teams’ community service involvement in the Central Valley. In 2007-08, the team participated in 463.50 community service hours, earning the team the Bulldog Bowl award and the Champs/Life Skills Cup.

Frank’s first stint with the Bulldogs was from 2002-04. He spent the 2004-05 campaign completing coursework towards his master’s degree at Southeastern Oklahoma State (SOSU).

Frank got his start at the Division I level as an assistant coach during the 2002-03 campaign, helping guide Fresno State to a 21-13 record and the school’s first postseason appearance in 13 years. In addition to his coaching duties, Frank handled the marketing and promotions aspect of the women’s basketball program while with the Bulldogs.

Prior to arriving at Fresno State, Frank was an assistant coach at SOSU from 1994-97 and 1998-2002, helping lead SOSU to Division II prominence during his tenure. Under Frank, the Lady Savages reached the NCAA Division II title game in 2001-02, were crowned Lone Star Conference champions from 1998-2001 and were the national runner-up in the 1995 and 1996 NAIA Championships.

A native of Bokchito, Okla., Frank also spent time as head women’s basketball coach at Rock Creek High School from 1997-98. A graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State, Frank received his Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1995 and his Master’s degree in 2005 in education from Southeastern Oklahoma State.

  (October 24, 2012)

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