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July 5, 2013

Mitts retires from Missouri Southern women's basketball

JOPLIN, Mo. — Maryann Mitts, the all-time winningest coach in Missouri Southern State University women's basketball history, has announced her retirement from coaching to pursue a teaching position at Missouri Southern in the department of kinesiology. The move is effective immediately and associate head coach Ronda Hubbard will serve as the interim head coach for the 2013-14 season.

"Obviously, a decision of this magnitude is difficult," Mitts said. "I have been fortunate enough to have been a head coach at the collegiate level for nearly 20 years, 12 of those at Missouri Southern. I have a passion for Missouri Southern and a love for the women's basketball program. It has been my complete honor to serve and continue to serve MSSU and the Joplin Community."

Mitts retires as the all-time wins leader in women's basketball history at Southern with 189 wins, 60 more than the next closest total. In 12 seasons with the Lions, Mitts compiled a 189-145 (.566) record and retires with an overall record of 272-201 (.577). She previously had spent five seasons as head coach at her alma mater, Rockhurst, going 83-57 (.593).

"I'd like to thank coach Mitts for her service to Missouri Southern," said director of athletics Jared Bruggeman. "For the past dozen years, she has been the face of Missouri Southern women's basketball. Her tireless effort on and off the court can be seen in her players and in her coaches, and the results that her teams accomplished are what other coaches that come along will be judged by. I want to personally wish her luck in her next venture as a collegiate professor."

Mitts' teams averaged 16 wins a season in her tenure at Southern and she had a winning season and took the team to the MIAA post season tournament in all but one season at the helm of the Lions. She took a team that finished 10-17 in the year prior to her hire and turned them around to finish 17-11 and earn a fifth-place finish in the highly-competitive MIAA in her first season.

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