Kennesaw State has hired University of Toledo associate head coach Nitra Perry as its new women's basketball coach.
Sources close to the situation from Toledo and Kennesaw State confirmed the hire Monday.
Perry, considered by many to be one of the bright, young assistants in women's college basketball, will be introduced at a press conference on Wednesday. When reached for comment, Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams declined, wanting to wait until the mid-week proceedings.
Perry replaces Colby Tilley, who retired at the completion of last season after 17 years at the helm of the Lady Owls.
Perry, who is from Bolivar, Tenn., helped lead the Rockets to a WNIT championship in 2011 when they won a school record 29 games. Toledo once again made a deep run in the WNIT this past season before bowing out against Syracuse, a 73-72 overtime loss to Syracuse in the Elite Eight.
During her four years with the Rockets, Toledo became one of the powers of the Mid-American Conference, posting a 95-40 record, including a 50-14 conference mark and the 2010-11 regular season title.
While Perry may be arriving from the MAC, she has plenty of experience in the south and around the KSU recruiting bases.
After playing for four years in the SEC at Mississippi State, Perry began her coaching career in 2004, where she spent two seasons as an administrative assistant for MaChelle Joseph at Georgia Tech. She returned to her alma mater in 2007 where she was responsible for player development, recruiting and overseeing the Lady Bulldogs academic status.
And one former ACC and SEC coach, who is now coaching in Cobb County, is in favor of the hire.
“She's fantastic,” said Mount Paran Christian girls basketball coach Theresa Gernatt, who was an assistant coach for eight seasons on at Florida State and then was at Mississippi State the year before Perry arrived in Starkville. “She's a great choice for them. She works her tail off on the recruiting trail.
“It doesn't get any better than that.”
Perry was a four-year letter winner with the Lady Bulldogs, twice earning AP All-American honorable mention, where she scored 1,124 points and is among the school's all-time leading rebounders with 746. During her playing career, Mississippi State advanced to two NCAA tournaments and a WNIT.
Following her collegiate career, Perry played one year each for professional teams in Portugal and Italy and then finished her professional playing days with two seasons for the Birmingham (Ala.) Power of the NWBL.