Gold Nuggets’ Tarniesha Scott earns head-coaching position in Kansas

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana’s Tarniesha Scott is the new head coach of women’s basketball at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan.

Ottawa announced Monday the hiring of Scott, a XULA assistant women’s basketball coach the past four seasons.

“In my earliest conversations with Tarniesha, she made it clear that she aspired to be a head coach,” said Jason Horn, XULA’s assistant vice president for student affairs/director of athletics and recreation. “During her time at Xavier, Tarniesha showcased all the traits needed to be a successful head coach: a tireless work ethic, knowledge of the game, passion for helping student-athletes and an ability to recruit. Tarniesha always worked with integrity and upheld our Xavier values each and every day. We congratulate Tarniesha and wish her the best as she moves forward.”

Said XULA head coach Bo Browder, “Tarniesha Scott is ready to be a head coach. She’s an up-and-coming rising star in our profession. She has experience at many levels: NCAA Division I, NAIA and high school. She works hard and has experience starting from the ground level. She is big on preparation. No situation is going to surprise her. Tarniesha is a very good recruiter and communicator. As a coach she’s good at recognizing and making adjustments.”

The Gold Nuggets won 73 games during Scott’s tenure, including the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship and a berth at the NAIA Division I National Championship tournament in 2018-19. There were seven victories against ranked opponents, including a 71-67 neutral-site victory during Scott’s first season against Our Lady of the Lake when it was ranked third in NAIA Division I.

“I am completely thrilled about this opportunity to lead the women’s basketball program at Ottawa University,” Scott said. “I am grateful to God for putting me in a position to be considered and prepared for such an opportunity. Thank you to the hiring committee and the director of athletics, Arabie Conner, for entrusting me with such an important responsibility. I do not take this lightly, and I am ready to continue building on the work that Bruce Tate and so many others have begun. I look forward to working with the great people of Ottawa University to continue inspiring and preparing young adults for their future.”

Scott — a graduate of Jacksonville (Ark.) High School and the University of Texas at Dallas — replaces Tate, whom Ottawa named in February as associate athletics director. Tate coached the Braves the past 13 seasons.

This will be Scott’s second college head-coaching job. She led the Talladega women to a 10-3 record as interim head coach to close the 2013-14 season, the GCAC regular-season championship and a berth at NAIA nationals.

Ottawa, like XULA, is a longtime NAIA member. Ottawa is in Ottawa, Kan., 766 miles northwest of New Orleans as the crow flies and 165 miles west of Kansas City, Mo. Ottawa women’s basketball was 9-18 last season and 8-16 (11th place) in the 13-team Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Five of Ottawa’s top six scorers from this past season, including the first three, were non-seniors.

Scott is the second Xavierite in five days to land a college head-coaching position. Landon Bussie, a former men’s basketball player with two XULA degrees, was named Thursday the men’s head coach at NCAA Division I Alcorn State.

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