Collegedale, TN-(WDEF-TV) New Lady Vols head basketball coach Kellie Harper was in Collegedale on Friday evening. She was the featured speaker for a fund-raiser for the CSLA school. Harper was hired to raise some more banners in Knoxville.
The Lady Vols program has slipped in recent years after winning eight national titles during Pat Summitt’s incredible career.
Kellie Harper saw plenty of smiles after her speech on Friday, but when she’s back in Knoxville, she sees plenty of her mentor everywhere in legendary coach Pat Summitt.
Said Harper:”You know it does not feel like a shadow to me It really does not, and I know people are going to say that. People are going to make comparisons, and that’s okay. I understand why people do that. I’m so comfortable with who I am, and who she was, and how I look up to her that I don’t feel that. I really don’t.
For now there’s not much coaching for Harper. It’s more mentoring.
Said Harper:”The generation that we are coaching now needs more. They need more interaction. They need us more. They need more feedback. I’ve tried to change my approach so to speak to give that to them.”
Harper won three national titles as a player at Tennessee, so of course, she’d love to deliver one as a coach too.
Said Harper:”Yeah I think it’s really motivating as a coach to know the tradition, but I also think it’s motivating as a coach who has been there, and you just want it for your team. You want it for your players. You want them to experience what you experienced. It’s just an amazing time.”
And maybe they’ll be a future game with Chattanooga.
Harper was on the UTC coaching staff when current Mocs head coach Katie Burrows was a player.
Said Harper:”You know I sat with Katie recruiting some in the spring. Just getting to talk about things. It was really cool. I’m happy for her and wish them continued success. I have a special place in my heart for Chattanooga.”