Western Carolina’s women’s head basketball coach, Karen Middleton, who has taken over this year after the departure of former head coach Kellie Haprer to N.C. State, recently announced her assistant coaching staff.
The Lady Catamounts will jumpstart its season with an all female coaching staff which includes head Coach Karen Middleton and assistant coaches Tr’eka McMillian, Jonelle Streed, and Hilary Beck.
Coach Middleton already had these women in mind upon taking the position at Western Carolina. The job openings were posted for some time before Middleton announced her staff. With a prior knowledge of their coaching abilities Middleton is very pleased with the selection.
“These are great people of high character,” said Middleton.
Tr’eka McMillian, a graduate of the University of South Carolina and former teammate of Middleton at the University of South Carolina, earned a dual degree in Athletic Training and Physical Education, along with a master’s degree in Sport Administration from Minneapolis Community and Technical College in Minnesota. She spent one season as head coach at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC, where she led the Lady Titans to a 22-8 season and won the NJCAA Region X Tournament in the team’s inaugural basketball season. She will assist the Lady Catamount post players’ developments, handle scheduling and equipment, scout prospects, and serve as the community service liaison.
McMillian has 16 years of coaching experience at different levels of basketball including the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, where she spent three years and her final year as an assistant coach for the team. She has also coached high school in both South Carolina and Georgia and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams in Georgia.
Jonelle Streed enters her first season as an assistant coach for the Lady Catamounts after spending one season at Miami of Ohio where she also assisted the team’s forwards and assisted with recruiting and coordinated team travel. Streed will assist the Lady Catamounts as their recruiting coordinator, will work with guard development, serve as academic and compliance liaison, and assist in scouting reports. She also has valuable experience with film breakdown, as she worked as an intern for the Stanford Cardinals, where she also organized film exchange and assisted with numerous clinics and camps. Streed graduated magna cum laude from St. Cloud State in 2003, where she also played from 2000-2003, and played in every game.
Hilary Beck comes to Western Carolina with one conference ring as a player and one as a coach, after winning the conference title at Miami University as a player, and then as an assistant , in 2009, at the University of Evansville. Beck will work with the point guards, handle team travel, conduct scouting, and oversee summer camps for the Lady Catamounts. She earned her bachelor’s degree in health education in 2005 from Miami University, with a minor in coaching. She also earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Arizona in 2008. While in college, she also served as an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Royals AAU team in 2004, and assisted the coaches of the Indiana All-Stars in 2003.
Coach Middleton is looking forward to future summer camps after the cancellation of this year’s camp.
“Our coaches have experience at the highest levels,” said Middleton about the new staff, “their ability to communicate and openness to players will help our team reach our goals.”