College Sports

Missouri State makes historic hire of Amaka Agugua-Hamilton as women’s basketball coach

The Standard

Missouri State announced its replacement for women’s basketball coach Kellie Harper on Wednesday and made history in the process.

Amaka Agugua-Hamilton, 36, joins the Bears after coaching the last six seasons at Michigan State, where she was the top assistant. She’s the first female African-American coach in any sport at Missouri State.

While in East Lansing, Agugua-Hamilton helped make the Spartans a consistent NCAA Tournament team under coach Suzy Merchant. Prior to Michigan State, Agugua-Hamilton served as an assistant coach at Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth. She played college basketball at Hofstra, graduating in 2005. She’s the Pride’s career leader in field-goal percentage at .551.

“Coach Mox has everything we were looking for in a coach,” Missouri State athletic director Kyle Moats said. “She is a player’s coach, detailed-oriented, disciplined, high integrity, community-oriented, and is completely invested in the student-athlete — wanting to make them great people first and great basketball players second.”

Agugua-Hamilton inherits a program that is coming off one of its deepest NCAA Tournament runs after the Bears made the Sweet 16 under Harper for the first time since 2001. Harper left to replace Holly Warlick at Tennessee, her alma mater. Barring any attrition, the Bears will lose just one player to graduation and will return essentially the entire core that led the Bears to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title in March.

She agreed to a five-year contract through the 2023-24 season with an annual base salary of $240,000.

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.