Meet the women's basketball staff
|Ebony Gilliam is the new
assistant coach for the K-State women's basketball team. (Photo: K-State
If you head out to a K-State women's basketball
game this season, you'll notice a few new faces on the sidelines of Bramlage
Many K-State fans have had the opportunity to get to know
the new head coach Jeff Mittie, who was hired March 18. Here's a look at the
rest of the staff.
From long time, experienced coaches to former
collegiate and professional players turned coach, the new K-State women's
basketball coaching staff is a group of talented, yet very different, people.
Mittie's crew of assistant coaches is made up of Brian Ostermann, Ebony Gilliam,
and Claire Coggins, whose common goal is leading K-State women's basketball to
success in the upcoming seasons is the same.
"We have a really
great staff," said Gilliam, a former player and coach with Mittie at TCU. "We
all get along well, and where someone might have a weakness another has a
strength. We talk a lot, and we're always coming up with ideas. We're a very
creative staff. I think from top to bottom, we're a very strong group that has a
very good knowledge of basketball, but we're also young enough and hip enough to
get recruits as well."Ebony Gilliam - Assistant
A member of Mittie's coaching staff at TCU for the past four
seasons, Gilliam made the move to Manhattan with her husband, Richard Gilliam
III, earlier this summer and said the transition has been going smoothly so
"It's been great. I've enjoyed Manhattan a lot," she said, "I come
from a big city, the DFW-area, so it was definitely a transition to Manhattan
and it has been very different, but I've been pleasantly surprised. I really
like it here. It has everything you need, good people, nice shopping, and the
food here - it's great. It's going really well. I like it a lot."
stranger to Mittie's coaching style, Gilliam became one of the most successful
players in TCU history during her collegiate playing career with the Horned
Frogs from 2000-2004. She played in 130 career games (second in TCU history) and
scored a total of 1,156 points - a number ranking sixth on TCU's all-time
Under Mittie's guidance, Gilliam helped TCU to its
first four NCAA Tournament appearances in school history and claim its
first-ever conference title.
"Right now, I'm the only person in
Manhattan that has actually played for (Mittie)," said Gilliam. "The girls are
yet to play a game with him now, but I think that has a lot to do with my role.
After playing with him and coaching with him for a while, I know what he is
looking for, and I can relay that on to the girls. Sometimes it's difficult when
the head coach is trying to relay the message and he has to be tough on them, so
you kind of have to be that extra help. Having played for him and kind of
knowing how he works, that definitely helps me as a coach."
playing career at TCU, Gilliam played one year of professional basketball for
Keflavik, Iceland. She helped the team capture the 2005 National Icelandic Cup
Championship and averaged 23 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
her return to the United States, Gilliam spent six years coaching girls' high
school basketball. She spent two seasons at Trimble Tech High School and four
years at Dunbar High School (where she earned district coach of the year honors
after leading Dunbar to a perfect 18-0 record in 7-4A play) before returning to
her alma mater in 2010 as the Horned Frogs' director of operations.
2012, Mittie had promoted Gilliam to assistant coach, and she's been by his side
"The Mittie family had a lot to do with my move here;
they're kind of like family to me," said Gilliam. "His kids were young kids when
I was a player at TCU and his parents were always around. For me to come to
Kansas State and be in Manhattan, it was initially because of Coach Mittie. He
is like family to me and I trust him, in that aspect, that he'll put me in the
right position to succeed as an assistant coach."
Finally, while coaching
with Mittie and Ostermann is familiar to Gilliam as the trio all coached
together at TCU, adding Coggins - a former K-State star who helped the team win
a Big 12 Championship in 2004 and a WNIT title in 2006 - to the mix has been
"Coach Mittie and Coach O. obviously have 20-plus
something years of experience each, and Claire and me, we're younger, but we
also have played in successful programs and got out there and played
professionally," concluded Gilliam on the new K-State coaching staff. "I think
there is a lot of good experience on both sides." This
is the first of a two-part series on the K-State women's basketball coaching
staff. Read part two, where Kelly McHugh will highlight women's
basketball associate head coach Brian Ostermann and assistant coach Claire