Tulsa Names Matilda Mossman as Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Tulsa, Oklahoma –– Matilda Mossman was appointed as the head women’s basketball coach at The University of Tulsa, it was announced today by Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham. Most recently a prep coach in Oklahoma, Mossman previously held head coaching stints on the collegiate level at both the University of Arkansas and Kansas State University.

In over 16 years as a head coach, Mossman has compiled a 341-148 record for a .697 winning percentage. She has served as a head collegiate coach for eight years, while coaching on the high school level for the last nine seasons.

I’m extremely excited about the opportunity that exists at The University of Tulsa. We can be successful here. I think we have the right kind of athletes in place, where we’ll just need to plug a few positions. I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be a great experience,” said Mossman.

“We’re extremely pleased to welcome Matilda Mossman to the TU family. She has achieved success both on the collegiate level at Arkansas and Kansas State, and recently as a high school coach. Matilda has had teams win a Big Eight Conference Championship at Kansas State and a state title at Norman High School,” said Cunningham. “She is motivated, enthusiastic and has an infectious personality. Matilda has created great relationships throughout the state and the basketball community.”

“I have come full circle. My first job out of college was at the University level, then I took time off to raise my children and spend time with them. Once my youngest son, Matt, graduated from high school it was time to be looking again,” added Mossman. “I had a great situation at Norman High. We were well respected around the state and we were clued in for success for a long, long time, but my dream was to get back to the college level. When the Tulsa job came open it was very appealing to me. The University of Tulsa is the right fit for me.”

Mossman spent the past nine years as the head basketball coach at Norman, where her teams compiled an overall 191-53 record for a .796 winning percentage. Her teams qualified for the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association (OSSAA) Class 6A state tournament in each of the last eight seasons.

Her prep teams won eight straight regional championships and advanced to the state semifinals six times, while winning 20+ games in seven of those seasons. Mossman led Norman High School to the state title in 2005 with an overall 25-3 record.

This past year, Mossman coached the Norman team to a 19-9 record and advanced to the state quarterfinals. A year earlier, Mossman’s team posted a 23-6 record and finished as the Class 6A state runner-up. Her teams also made the state semifinals in 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Mossman coached various players at Norman High School who earned college scholarships, including Division I student-athletes Sarah Gaylor (New Orleans), Sade Morris (Kansas), Kara Vaughan (Tulsa), Taylor Hardeman (Oklahoma State) and Ashley Bruner (South Carolina).

She was named the conference coach of the year three times, while earning regional and district coach of the year accolades twice.

Before her appointment at Norman High School, Mossman spent one year as the assistant girls basketball coach at Norman North High School, and that team completed the season with a 22-4 record and advanced to the Class 6A state semifinals. Before moving to Norman, Mossman spent seven years (1994-2001) as a health & physical education teacher and girls basketball coach at Normal (Ill.) Community High School.

Mossman began her coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at her alma mater, Western Kentucky University, in 1979. The next season, Mossman served as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas.

A year later, at age 24, Mossman was promoted to the head coaching position at Arkansas. She was a member of the same athletic department staff with athletic director Frank Broyles, head football coach Lou Holtz and men’s basketball coach Eddie Sutton.

With three freshmen starters, Mossman’s first Lady Razorback squad in 1981-82 compiled a 26-10 record and advanced to the “Sweet 16” of the final National Tournament. It was the first of three straight 20-win seasons at Arkansas. Mossman posted four winning seasons in five years at Kansas State, while her 1987 Wildcat team won the Big Eight Conference Championship and posted an overall 22-9 record. She was named the Big Eight Conference Coach of the Year for the 1986-87 campaign.

In eight years as a collegiate head coach, Mossman registered an overall 150-95 record. She had a 67-27 mark in three seasons at Arkansas and an 83-68 mark at Kansas State in five years.

Following her stint at Kansas State, Mossman served as an assistant coach at Illinois State under Hall of Fame Coach Jill Hutchison for three seasons (1991-94). She left the collegiate coaching profession following the 1993-94 season to spend time raising her two sons, while also teaching and coaching in Illinois.

Mossman referred to friendship with former Norman High School athletic director Ross Parmley, now an associate athletic director at Tulsa, in making the Golden Hurricane coaching position intriguing to her in the first place.

“The reason I went to Norman High School was because of Ross Parmley. I wasn’t looking to stay in coaching when we moved to Norman, but Ross’ style and leadership as an athletic director was something I wanted to be around. He was really good at seeing the big picture. I’m a big picture person. The same can be said for the administration at The University of Tulsa,” said Mossman. “When I met Crista (Troester) and Bubba it was obvious that they’re first-class individuals. They have vision and think outside the box. I’m elated to be associated with that kind of leadership.”

Mossman earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1979 and her graduate degree in education in 1980, both from Western Kentucky.

She has two sons, Scott, 23, and Matt, 19.

Mossman’s Year-By-Year Head Coaching Record
Year School Record Postseason
1981-82 Arkansas 26-10 National Tournament “Sweet Sixteen”
1982-83 Arkansas 21-8
1983-84 Arkansas 20-9
1984-85 Kansas State 16-13
1985-86 Kansas State 16-13
1986-87 Kansas State 22-9 Big 8 Conference Champions
1987-88 Kansas State 8-20
1988-89 Kansas State 18-11

Year School Record
2002-03 Norman High School 12-11
2003-04 Norman High School 25-2 State Semifinalist, Conference Champions
2004-05 Norman High School 25-3 State Champion, Conference Champions
2005-06 Norman High School 24-3 State Semifinalist, Conference Champions
2006-07 Norman High School 21-6 State Quarterfinalist
2007-08 Norman High School 21-6 State Semifinalist
2008-09 Norman High School 21-7 State Semifinalist
2009-10 Norman High School 23-6 State Runner-up
2010-11 Norman High School 19-9 State Quarterfinalist

Quotes From Matilda Mossman Press Conference

Tulsa Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham

Opening Statement…

“Last week at the Center was a great week for men’s college
basketball, but I think today is a great day for women’s college
basketball. In particular, college basketball at The University of
Tulsa. Matilda Mossman has an incredible resume to go along with an
incredible personality. Her infectious personality has been able to
attract outstanding student-athletes, and she will continue that
great leadership here when she attracts a great coaching staff and
student-athletes coupled with the great student-athletes that we
currently have. Her ties to Oklahoma are second-to-none, and she will
be an outstanding leader for our program.”

New Tulsa Women’s Basketball Head Coach Matilda Mossman

Opening Statement…

“I’m really excited to be here right now. I hope this is just the
beginning of a new level of excitement in our women’s basketball
program here. I’ve been a head coach at the college level, and
I’ve been an assistant at the college level. I’ve also been a head
coach and an assistant at the high school level. I’ve even been a
freshman coach. I’ve mopped a lot of floors, and I’ve washed a lot
of uniforms. I’ve had press conferences before, and I’ve been in
meetings. I’ve done it all. The reason I got out of college
coaching in the first place is because family was very important to
me and I had young children that I wanted to be able to raise and be
with every minute. There was an opportunity at a high school and I
took that. My youngest son graduated from Norman High School last
year, and it was at that point that I felt like I wanted to go back
to the college level. I’m just elated that this situation opened up
when it did. The timing is right, the area is right. Obviously, I
feel very connected to the state of Oklahoma. I feel very connected
to the high school and junior college coaches in the state. I’m
excited about working with those people in a little bit different
way. Yes, I’ve been to a lot of great places, but more than the
places I’ve been is the people that I’ve met and the relationships
that I have nurtured at those places. Eddie Sutton was at Arkansas
when I was there. Lou Holtz and Frank Broyles were there, as well.
The reason I am in coaching is because of Gene Keady. He was the
men’s basketball coach at Western Kentucky when I was a student and
a graduate assistant there. He opened up his gym, his office. He
allowed me to be everywhere that I was. He was the one who made the
call to the University of Arkansas and said that they need to
interview this girl and you need to get her hired. I will forever be
greatful for Gene Keady for getting me started in the business. Clem
Haskins was also at Western Kentucky, and he is from my hometown of
Campbellsville, Ky. He is a great man and has a great family. He
mentored me throughout my high school and college career. He got me
started working camps and gave me lots of responsibility. That hands-
on experience was invaluable. From there, I went to K-State. Of
course, Jack Hartman was the men’s basketball coach there, and Lon
Kruger came in after him. Again, great coaching relationships. I feel
like from the age of about 20, I’ve been able to go to a coaching
clinic every single day of my life and haven’t had to pay a penny
for it. I’ve been to lots of practices and lots of meetings where
coaches talked X’s and O’s. Those people became my mentors. When I
went to Illinois State, Kevin Stallings was the men’s coach there.
Kevin and his family have become great friends of mine, and again it
was like being at a coaching clinic every single day. When I moved to
Norman, Okla., Sherri Coale was the women’s basketball coach there,
and she came from a little place called Norman High School. Coach
Coale just opened up her program to me as well. I’ve spent a lot of
time at their practices and spent a lot of time working camps for
Coach Coale. She has been very open and allowed me to do a lot of
different things with her program. I was fortunate enough to coach
her daughter, Chandler, this past year as a freshman at Norman High
School. Which brings us to now – I’m excited about being part of a
great institution. I’m excited about being part of a great athletic
department. I think we have every reason to be successful here. I
look at last year’s team, and I look at the fact that they were on
the cusp of having a much better season than they did. I think we
have great athletes in place and as I look at them, it even more
confirms my belief in what they’re going to be capable of doing.
Winning and losing snowballs. If you lose a close game, than you
might lose the next close game. But if you win a close game, then
you’re probably going to win the next close game. It just has a
domino affect. When you win, you keep winning, and when you lose,
unfortunately, you keep losing. But they were on the cusp of really
doing great things here last year. I think we can take that and we
can build on that. Obviously, we’ve got a few more spots to fill,
and we’re going to try to fill those spots with people that we need
to make our team better and our program better. But I think we have
every reason to be successful here. Because today there’s change, I
think everybody has to understand that there’s going to be change.
That’s one thing our players are going to have to understand,
that’s one thing we talked with them about last night. There’s
going to be change, because if you keep doing what you’ve always
done, then you’re going to keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
Over the past few years, I don’t think any of them have gotten what
they really want, so there’s going to be change. Whether that is a
change in attitude or a change in work ethic or a change in
expectations, change in what they believe, change in that commitment,
whatever that is, there’s going to be change. Some people are going
to embrace that and be excited about it, and there might be somebody
that doesn’t want change, so they’re going to choose a different
path. My expectation is that this is a group that’s hungry to be
successful, and this is a group that really wants to commit and wants
to do the right thing. They want to win basketball games, and we’re
going to bring in a staff that’s going to give them their best shot
every single day. That was my promise to them last night. I want to
give them my best shot every single day, and the only thing I expect
from them is to give me their best shot every single day. I think if
they can embrace that and be committed to that, than there is no
reason why we can’t be successful.

Former Tulsa Player Kara Vaughan

On how excited she was when she found out her former high school
coach was hired…

“I think it’s awesome. She (Coach Mossman) is such a great person
on and off the court. She’s the kind of coach that likes to build
relationships with her players. I became so close to her through high
school and even while I was in college. I think it’s a great hire
for this program, and I’m really excited for everybody who gets to
be involved with her and who gets to know her in the Tulsa area.”

On if she is a relationship-type coach…

“We have a great relationship, and she has a great relationship with
all her players. Over Christmas Break, we (former Norman players)
would all go home and visit her. She would tell us that if we wanted
to get some shots up that the gym would be open. We would all go over
there and get some practice time in. That speaks to the type of
person that she is. She is very involved with you as a player.”

On what she told her teammates after finding out about the hire…

“They were all calling me and asking questions about her, and I told
them that she is a great person. It’s very exciting for the program,
and I told them that they are going to love her. I want them to
experience what I got to experience with her as a player.”

On how much this hiring means to Vaughan…

“It’s really exciting, and I’m so happy for (Coach Mossman) and
for the girls, too. Before I went to Norman High, she asked me why I
wanted to play for her. I told her because I wanted to win. She told
me that she was going to make that happen. She had such high
expectations for me and she was going to push me to my limit.”

Tulsa Rising Junior Taleya Mayberry

On how happy Kara Vaughan is about seeing her old coach taking over
for Tulsa…

“Kara had a good career here for four years and came from being
coached by Coach Mossman. She’s excited and elated about the new
hiring and that just gives us a good feeling because we trust our
teammates feelings. We know that we’re bringing somebody good into
the program.”

On the message to the team at the meeting prior to the official press

“She told us to stay focused and not to give up. The past couple of
years have not been going too well, but she asked us to embrace the
change and just know that we are capable of winning here.”

On the hiring invigorating the program…

“The team talked about it last night after we met with Coach
Mossman. We had a refreshing feeling. It feels like a new start. We
want to take away everything that we’ve been through and just start
over again.”

On the goal of the team heading into the offseason and into next year…

“We have to get back on board. Of course, we have to go through
workouts and training. We have to work even harder to be together as
one with all these changes coming in. We have to work twice as hard
as we normally would.”

On if Mayberry knew Mossman prior to the hiring…

“We (Booker T. Washington HS) played against Norman (High School) a
couple of times. She brought that up in the meeting last night about
how they beat us.”

On the process of going from El Paso to now with not knowing who the
coach would be…

“It’s been both nervous and exciting at the same time. It’s been
suspenseful wondering who they were going to bring in, what should we
expect and what changes were going to be made. We were all calling
each other asking if any of us had heard anything about the new
coach. We all feel real good about the hiring and we’re all excited
about Coach Mossman.”

Tulsa Rising Junior Jessica McQuin

On the excitement of bringing in Coach Mossman…

“Before a couple of days ago, I didn’t know anything about her.
Taleya sent me a text message that we hired a new coach and it’s
Coach Mossman. It was Kara’s old coach and she told us that Coach
Mossman is going to be really good. We had a couple conversations
about her and we looked at her resume. We were interested in her and
when we finally got to meet her yesterday and talk to her a bit, it
was exciting because we knew we were about to change everything. All-
in-all it’s just a lot of excitement about the direction of the

On what Kara said to the team about Coach Mossman…

“Kara told us that her team’s work hard and the No. 1 reason why
they were successful is because they had a group of girls that were
committed to wanting to win. That’s the biggest thing – Coach
Mossman can come in with a plan for us, but if we’re not committed
to it, than we will not be successful. We are the ones on the court,
so we have to be committed to what she is trying to bring to us.”

On the team meeting that occurred before the official press

“The meeting was just reassurance into what’s about to happen.
It’s a new start, a whole new thing. It was refreshing because
everything is new for us. After I left the room, I felt confident in
what we’re about to do as a basketball program. We feel like this
hiring is going to rejuvenate the whole women’s basketball program
at The University of Tulsa and I’m just excited to be apart of the
change that’s about to happen.”

On what has been going on since El Paso before the team found out
about it’s new coach…

“It’s been scary because I’ve never been through this process so
I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was a void that needed to
be filled and we were just wondering who was going to come in and
take over.”

Updated 03-23-2011

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