HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – The Marshall University Women’s Basketball program officially has a new head coach.
Marshall’s Director of Athletics Christian Spears says Parkersburg, West Virginia, native and Division II National Champion Kim Stephens signed an agreement to become the team’s eighth head coach.
“She will meet this opportunity at Marshall and she will build this program into a point of pride for our community, our region and for our state. We are honored to introduce Kim as the 8th head coach in Marshall women’s basketball history,” Spears said.
The team’s previous coach, Tony Kemper, accepted the head coach position at Central Arkansas and resigned his position with the Thundering Herd earlier this month.
Marshall University officials say the board of governors has approved the agreement with Stephens, which is a seven-year deal. She says she’s excited to take on the position, which she says is her “dream job.”
“Marshall has been my dream job for a long time and I am looking forward to continuing my career in my home state,” Stephens said. “Christian Spears and (Marshall President) Brad Smith are leading Marshall in the right direction and I am honored to be a part of it. I can’t wait to get to work.”
Listen: Christian Spears introduces Kim Stephens as the new head coach in a press conference:
The Parkersburg native comes to Marshall from Glenville State, where officials say she “turned the Pioneers into a national power.” In the seven seasons Stephens was with Glenville State, the team compiled a combined record of 191-24, MU officials say.
“Kim Stephens embodies everything we say when speaking about West Virginians doing great things on a national scale and beyond,” Marshall President Brad D. Smith said. “She turned Glenville State into a national power at the Division II level with an exciting, entertaining style and we could not be more thrilled to have her lead Marshall’s women’s basketball program into our future in the Sun Belt Conference. Her energy, passion and excellence are all attributes we know our Marshall fans will immediately embrace.”
According to Marshall officials, her last two seasons at Glennville State the team had a combined 68-4 record, and in the 2022-2023 season, the team won the Mountain East Conference Tournament, advancing to the NCAA Division II Final Four. The team went 33-3 through the season before they fell to Ashland in the national semifinals.
“We have something really special at Marshall and sometimes, you find people who recognize that instantly. Kim Stephens is one who recognized it instantly,” Spears said. “And, as an athletic director, sometimes you recognize that a coach has something really special – a persona, a system, a set of core values, a personality filled with innate qualities that you absolutely know will lead to success. That’s what we have in Coach Stephens.”
The season also marked the second straight season Stephens’ team had a season with at least 30 wins. During the 2021-22 season, Stephens was awarded the Pat Summitt Trophy after being named as the WBCA NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year.
“I’ve been very blessed to coach in front of the wonderful fans here in West Virginia and I hope to continue to make them proud.”Kim Stephens
Prior to her coaching career, Stephens also played collegiate basketball at Glenville State. During the 2010-11 season, she led the team to the WVIAC Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth, Marshall officials say.