Positives In New Cowgirls Coaching Hire

I've always been a big believer that it is better to go local. I like to buy local, eat out local when all things are equal or close to it, and I like to recruit or hire local. That is what Oklahoma State Cowgirls head coach Jim Littell did in hiring Rebecca Kates-Taylor, a former Mississippi State three-year starter who grew up in Cashion, Oklahoma.

Kates-Taylor was at Mississippi for a season where some NCAA violations went down but she was exonerated by the NCAA investigation. She opted to work outside basketball for awhile and that might help her in coming back as she worked in banking.

According to some of the folks I asked she was effective at creating some strong networking with some major Oklahoma businesses. Coaching and recruiting often comes down to networking and this woman appears to be very good at it.

"Rebecca is energetic and has a strong work ethic,” Cowgirls head coach Jim Littell said. "She also has strong connections in Oklahoma and Texas which will make her an important addition to our program. She has the ability to communicate with young people and will be a positive influence on our program both on and off the floor."

I also like that she becomes the second female coach on the Cowgirls staff. Don't count me as a male chauvinist or a reverse chauvinist either. I believe men can coach women and I may be in the minority here but I believe women can coach men too.

However, I do believe that in women's collegiate sports that the coaching staff needs some strong female influence and role models for the athletes. A lot of fans have panicked over the transfers and departures of some players this offseason. I haven't because I understand where those players stood and what their situations were. I do think the addition of another female coach can't hurt.

The Cowgirls staff is now made up of two men, including Littell, and two women. It doesn't have to be that way, but I do think it could wind up being a big positive for chemistry on and off the court. It never hurts to have someone that has very closely walked in those shoes the players are walking in.

"Having the chance to coach and recruit in my home state was very appealing to me," Kates-Taylor said. "Coach Littell has won everywhere he has been and is very genuine and loyal. I look forward to joining a staff of hard workers and building on the success they have had in Stillwater."

Kates-Taylor has coached at Rice and Tulsa, and she also served as the director of operations at Rice for two years. She helped Mississippi State to two NCAA Tournament appearances as a player and also a WNIT berth.

Her degree is in communications with an emphasis on broadcasting and marketing. No surprise there either.

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