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Candidates emerging for Littell's replacement

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Jim Littell

OSU nears the end of its second week in a search for a women’s basketball coach.

The athletic department could be zeroing in on finalists, with Jacie Hoyt emerging as a strong candidate, according to sources close to the program.

Jacie Hoyt

Jacie Hoyt, coach at University of Missouri-Kansas City, is a strong candidate to replace Jim Littell, a source close to the program confirmed. 

Hoyt finished her fifth season as head coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prior to her time at UMKC, Hoyt spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Kansas State (2014-17) and three at Nevada (2011-14).

In Hoyt’s five seasons as coach, UMKC has an 81-65 record. In Western Athletic Conference play the Roos are 48-31. Hoyt’s final game this season with UMKC was a 75-58 loss against Northern Iowa in the first round of the WNIT.

In her first season at UMKC, a 7-7 record in conference play was the program’s first .500-or-better record in seven seasons.

2019-20 was Hoyt’s best season at UMKC. The Roos went 13-3 in conference play and earned their first NCAA Tournament berth in program history before the tournament was canceled. Hoyt was named WAC Coach of the Year, the first coach in program history to win the award.

Hoyt has shown a strong ability to recruit the transfer portal and in high schools. UMKC brought in Brooklyn McDavid, a former All-West Coast Conference First Team player, and Kiara Bradley, a former Great Lakes Valley Conference First Team player. Hoyt’s highest-rated high school recruit at UMKC was Tamia Ugass. Ugass was the second-ranked center in Minnesota and initially signed with LSU but signed with UMKC six months later.

Hoyt played basketball at Wichita State from 2006-09. She started every game at point guard her final two seasons. After her playing career finished, she was a graduate assistant coach at Fort Hays State for the 2010-11 season.

In 2021, Hoyt signed a contract extension with UMKC that goes through the 2024-25 season.

Molly Miller is another believed contender for head coach.

Miller is in her second season as women’s basketball coach at Grand Canyon University. She joined GCU after a successful seven-year run at her alma mater, Drury. As coach of Drury, Miller complied an impressive 180-17 record.

GCU’s season ended Wednesday with a 92-72 loss to New Mexico.

sports.ed@ocolly.com