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Littell reflects on receiving top coaching honor in the Big 12

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Coach Jim Littell looks on during the Oklahoma State vs. No. 2 Baylor women's basketball game on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

In a league that has compiled some of the best coaches in college basketball, Jim Littell separated himself.

Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell was named Big 12 Coach of the Year, Wednesday. That marked Littell’s second time earning the award.

“It’s a really nice honor,” Littell said. “This is a league full of outstanding coaches. To be recognized by your peers, that’s special.”

Littell led the Cowgirls to 13 conference wins in the regular season — a program record.

Picked to finish eighth, the Cowgirls clawed their way to a third-place conference finish.

“It takes your assistant coaches, your support staff, the players,” Littell said. “That award would not be possible if our players don’t jump out and win 13 games. They set the record for the most conference wins in the history of the school, so those things go together. What the players did, what they accomplished and the 13 wins makes that award possible.

A strength of the Cowgirls this year has been team chemistry. Littell said that the team has had very little drama this year, and that everyone on the team likes each other.

Littell said that even when doing mundane activities like stretching, all 14 Cowgirl players are smiling and laughing with each other.

While it may seem small, the impact of that mentality on the team is evident.

“I’ve learned some things this year, after all these years,” Littell said. “If you have a happy clubhouse and kids are caring about each other and going to battle for each other, a lot of positive things can happen.”