by Buddy Pearson
Tennessee Tech is the right place and now is the right time for Kim Rosamond.
After spending 21 seasons in women’s college basketball, Rosamond landed her first head coaching job when she was hired in March to become just the sixth head coach of the TTU women’s basketball program.
“I had a couple of opportunities before to be a head coach. I didn’t just want to be a head coach, I wanted to be a head coach at the right place,” said Rosamond. “When the position at Tennessee Tech opened, I had no question this was the right job for me. I knew it before I even interviewed.”
Rosamond played in the Hooper Eblen Center while she was student-athlete at Ole Miss and visited as an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee State University, competing against successful Tech women’s teams.
She already had a good understanding of the rich tradition of women’s basketball at Tech.
“There’s not a lot of places you can go in the country where women’s basketball is valued like it is here at Tennessee Tech and in the Cookeville community,” Rosamond said. “They love women’s basketball here. They value it.”
Winning on the court has been the norm since the women’s program was created in 1970. Since then, the female student-athletes donning the purple and gold have accumulated almost 900 wins, more than 400 Ohio Valley Conference victories, 18 OVC championships, 10 OVC tournament titles and 10 trips to the NCAA tournament. But, in the past nine years, Tech has produced just two winning seasons.
That’s a trend Rosamond is hoping to change.
“This university and this city and this community deserve a winner,” Rosamond said. “The foundation is very strong. You are already in the top 20 in wins in NCAA history for the program. That’s pretty incredible. Winning has been done here. We know it can be done here.”
Besides a successful history of women’s basketball, Rosamond says academics played a big role in her decision to come to Tech.
“I want excellence in every area of my life. I want to be able to offer that to the young women we coach. I just don’t want it to be all about basketball. I want to offer them an elite degree and an elite basketball experience,” Rosamond said. “Academics at Tech are impressive. It means something. To combine academic excellence, athletic excellence with a community which loves women’s basketball is pretty special.”
Rosamond comes to Tech after spending 10 years as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt. Before that, she coached at MTSU for a couple of seasons after a five-year stint at her alma mater, Ole Miss. She has enjoyed success wherever she has coached and believes her time at Tech will be no different.
“It’s going to be a daily ritual to establish championship habits. We have to get back to hanging those banners and being champions, not only on the court, but in the classroom and in the community,” Rosamond explained. “You don’t just show up and be a champion. You have to live it. You have to establish championship habits on the court, in the weight room, in the classroom and in the community.”
One of those championship habits Rosamond refers to is hard work. She expects her staff – Allison Clark, Crystal Kelly, Melanie Walls and Aaron Sternecker – to work hard and set examples for the players.
“The assistant coaches are tremendous people. They put student-athletes first,” praised Rosamond. “Their core values are similar if not the same as mine. We value academics, athletics and the community. We want our student-athletes to be champions in all of those areas. Beyond being great people, they are great coaches. Their experience will help speed this process up.”
The process to bring the women’s program back to prominence began in April and has progressed throughout the past few months. With several players returning from last season, and a couple of highly touted recruits, Rosamond is expecting a lot out of the 2016-17 Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles.
“I want our team to be relentless. I want our team to be fearless. I want them to be disciplined. I want them to have a team-first attitude,” Rosamond said. “When people come watch us I want them to see the respect we give the game; the respect we give each other; and the respect we give the fans. It may not happen overnight, but they will see a team that is committed to each other, invested in each other and helps each other to be successful.”
Rosamond is very clear in the goals and expectations she has for her players and coaches. She also has goals and expectations for a loyal fan base ready to cheer on a winning team.
“I want people to be drawn to this program. I want it to be a magnet and intoxicating,” said Rosamond. “When people walk in here, I want them to feel like something is brewing, something special is happening. I want them to feel it from the staff and the players. We are going to work every single day to get it there.”
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared before the end of the women’s basketball team’s inaugural season under Rosamond. The team finished 10-20, 7-9 OVC.