Cliché as it sounds, I, too, was shocked by the departure of Murray State’s women’s basketball coach, Jody Adams.
For five months, I’ve talked to Jody at least twice a week (She had insisted her players call her Jody, thus nearly everyone did.). At the end of the season, as I worked on a story about her performance and achievements in only her first year as a head coach, I joked about how she would be a hot commodity to other schools. She just humbly blushed and said, “No.”
At the end of those five months, I’d like to say we’d established a good rapport. Jody let me tag around with the team in College Park, Md., at the NCAA Tournament to avoid boredom in a hotel. In return, I kept a professional distance and made sure not to bug anyone until it was my turn to ask questions.
In my time reporting, it turned out we knew a lot of the same people. I spent last season covering the Missouri women’s basketball team, and coach Cindy Stein is one of Jody’s best friends. Murray assistant coach Kerensa Barr also came out of Missouri.
During interviews, Jody always made sure to ask about me and seemed interested in getting to know me not only as a professional, but as a person. I appreciated that. A lot.
Jody’s brown eyes would constantly twinkle with mirth, especially when teasing reporters in a press conference. She could still stare a reporter down with the best of hard-nosed coaches, but she would straight talk. I appreciated that. A lot.
I figured she’d give Murray State at least three years. I think she did, too. Either way, I’ve said good-bye to a coach that I genuinely liked as a person, and that hurts a bit. I wish her the best of luck, and hope the reporters out in Kansas appreciate their new source just as much as I did.
On a side note, I got a chuckle out of the poster on racerfans.com suggesting that Calloway County girls basketball coach Scott Sivills be considered for MSU’s newest opening.
As much as I enjoy talking with Sivills and understand what he’s done for Calloway basketball, he’s no Division I head coach. Although his dark-rimmed glasses and brightly colored blazers would be great story fodder.
And while Sheri Coale at Oklahoma came straight out of high school to D-I, Oklahoma was a nod away from dismantling the women’s basketball program — it was that pitiful at the time. The Racers are at a crucial point of building a reputable program. Big difference.