Joplin, Mo. – Missouri Southern Director of Athletics Jared Bruggeman has announced that Ronda Hubbard has had the interim tag removed and will be the permanent head women's basketball coach at Southern effective immediately.
"After a comprehensive review of the Women's Basketball program it was clear that we needed to ask Coach Hubbard and her staff to stay on and lead the program forward" Bruggeman said. "We were very pleased with the way she led the program this year with both the academic and athletic successes. It certainly is an achievement to earn 19 wins and have them on the brink of an NCAA regional appearance. I'm more than confident she's the absolute right person to lead the team."
Hubbard led the Lions to a 19-8 overall record and a fourth-place finish in the MIAA and went 13-6 in league play after being picked to finish ninth in both the MIAA preseason polls. The 19 wins ties with former coach Maryann Mitts for the most wins since the 95-96 season and her .704 winning percentage this year is tied for tenth-best in a single-season at Missouri Southern.
Hubbard spent 12 seasons as an assistant coach on the Lions' bench and helped the team to a 189-145 record, including winning marks and a trip to the MIAA post season tournament in all but one of those 12 seasons.
In 2000-01, Hubbard helped the University of Texas-Pan American post its most wins in a season since becoming an NCAA Division I institution in 1985, and the second most victories in school history.
Prior to her stint at Texas-Pan American, she served on Maryann Mitts' staff as an assistant at Rockhurst University from 1996-2000. There, she helped the Lady Hawks post a 68-45 record and advance to the 1997-98 Sweet 16.
Hubbard was also an assistant coach at Southwest Baptist University from 1994-96, helping guide the team to a 39-19 record. She served as head girls basketball coach at Springfield Catholic High School from 1991-94, where she posted a 76-16 record and won back-to-back Missouri Class 2 state championships. She continues to hold the Missouri State High School Activities Association's (MSHSAA) record of being the youngest coach to accomplish such a feat.
She earned an Educational Specialist degree from the University of Missouri - Kansas City, as well as a master's of science degree in education from Southwest Baptist in 1995. Hubbard earned a bachelor of science in physical education/health, secondary education from Missouri State University in 1991, where she played basketball from 1986-89. Hubbard's educational background is indicative of some of the highest in her field.
"I am equally humbled and excited to continue the longevity of success in our women's basketball program," Hubbard said. "I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Director of Athletics, Jared Bruggeman and Interim President, Dr. Alan Marble for their belief in my ability to lead our program into a new era. It is evident that we share the same vision for our future. I am very proud of our 2013-14 season. We were able to take strides that will inevitably propel us to the next level in the years to come. We have a strong nucleus of experienced players returning, alongside five commitments for our freshmen class. Our staff is excited to complete our roster in the lupcoming weeks."