Connors State College Hires Women’s Basketball Coach

Rusty Laverentz, from the University of Central Arkansas, has accepted the Connors State Cowgirls head women’s basketball position.  Laverentz will replace Coach Eddie Kite, who held the position for 12 years.

Rusty Laverentz, from the University of Central Arkansas, has accepted the Connors State Cowgirls head women’s basketball position. Laverentz will replace Coach Eddie Kite, who held the position for 12 years.

Rusty Laverentz has accepted the Connors State Cowgirls head women’s basketball position, announced CSC President Dr. Tim Faltyn and Athletic Director Bill Muse on Tuesday.

Laverentz comes to the Warner campus after one year as an assistant women’s basketball coach at the Division I University of Central Arkansas of the Southland Conference in Russellville, Ark.

Laverentz is taking over for Eddie Kite, who guided the program for 12 years, and resigned in May to take the coaching position at Panola, Texas, Junior College.

“I am very excited to have Rusty join our women’s basketball program,” said Muse. “He has a lot of experience and has everything that I was looking for in a new coach.  I wanted someone that could recruit Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. He has coached in two of those states and I was looking for someone that has had junior college coaching experience. He fits all the criteria for the Cowgirls coaching position.”

The new Cowgirls head coach was selected among 45 applicants for the position, according to Muse.

Laverentz has  also coached at the University of Houston as the director of operations of women’s basketball; assistant women’s basketball coach at Houston Baptist University;  head coach at New Mexico Junior College for two seasons, and as the assistant coach at New Mexico JC.

He also served as graduate assistant and volunteer assistant women’s coach at Arkansas State University, where he earned his Masters of Science in Physical Education and was a student assistant women’s basketball coach at Missouri Western State College, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education with minors in business and coaching.

“With his Division I experience, Rusty brings a lot to the table and I believe he will be a great addition to our women’s basketball program,” said Muse.

Laverentz said when the Cowgirls coaching position came open he immediately looked into the opportunity to return to junior college coaching.

“I was a junior college coach before and I really missed coaching on the junior college level,” said Laverentz. “I have coached on every single level and the freedom and relationships that you can build with the players are what brought me back to this level.  Connors has a great history with Monte (Madewell) and what Eddie (Kite) accomplished here. I saw it as a great opportunity to get back and become a head coach once again.”

Laverentz, who has called and met several of his returning players from last year’s 5-23 squad, has hit the recruiting trail, along with assistant coach Jamie Fisher, who he has retained from Kite’s staff.

The first -year Cowgirls coach returns five players from last season’s team.

“Jamie, who I have known for seven years, has agreed to stay and has signed several incoming freshman, along with a transfer, all of whom I believe will be a huge asset to our up-tempo offense,” said Laverentz.  “I first met Jamie when I was at New Mexico JC and he was an assistant at Howard College in Texas.  He does a good job and is loyal. I am glad he has decided to stay and help me out.  He knows the ins-and- outs, while I get my feet wet and get going. I am coming in on the run and wouldn’t have it any other way,”

Laverentz said along with his up-tempo offense, he will stress a pressing defense. When the up-tempo is slowed by the opposition he said they will operate a motion offense with continuity.

“If we get the type of athletes I want we will press all over the floor along with getting up-and-down the court and share the basketball,” he said.  “I am looking forward to next season and bringing back the winning tradition to Connors State.”