When Kim Rosamond came to Cookeville to be Tennessee Tech’s sixth women’s basketball coach in March 2016, she set out to re-establish the championship culture that vaulted Tech to become one of the winningest programs in the country. After two seasons of implementing her new regime, she, along with the TTU faithful, saw the fruits of her labor during her third season at the helm.
Led by a balanced offensive attack, the Golden Eagles produced a 22-11 record in 2018-19, which equated to a plus-15 win increase from a 7-22 mark in 2017-18 – the third-best improvement in NCAA Division I.
The 22 overall victories, which included an epic triumph over in-state rival Middle Tennessee and road victories at conference powers Belmont and UT Martin, were the team’s highest total since the 2010-11 season. The MTSU victory was Tech’s first in the annual rivalry since 2004, while the win over Belmont was the first since 2012, and snapped the Bruins' 47-game winning streak over Ohio Valley Conference opponents.
The conference season was also the best seen in Cookeville in quite some time, as the team recorded 12 OVC wins and a fourth-place finish in the final standings, marks most recently matched by the 2012-13 team.
That regular-season resume earned Rosamond her first-ever Coach of the Year honor from the OVC, and the first for a Tech bench boss since Sytia Messer in 2010-11. On the same day, sophomore guard Jordan Brock became the second Golden Eagle to win First Team All-OVC honors under Rosamond’s tutelage (Yaktavia Hickson, 2016-17).
Tech then found itself in the OVC Tournament for the second time in Rosamond’s tenure (2016-17), where the program scored its first win since 2013 with a 68-57 nod over fifth-seeded Austin Peay.
A berth in the Women's Basketball Invitational came next, TTU's first in a national postseason tournament since 2011-12. The opening-round victory over Akron, a convincing 73-59 decision in the Eblen Center, was Tech's first on the national scale since 2006.
With an offensive predicated on penetrating the painted area and getting to the free-throw line, the Golden Eagles finished eighth in NCAA Division I in free-throw percentage (77.6 percent), 11th in free throws made (503), and 39th in free throws attempted (648). The 77.6 percent clip from the foul line led the Ohio Valley, while the marks for makes and attempts ranked second league-wide.
Paint-patrolling forward Anacia Wilkinson made headlines with 92 total blocks on the year, which ranked eighth in Division I, and obliterated the previous TTU standard of 61 set by Kayla Brewer in 2013-14.
Guards Akia Harris and Kentoria Alexander were primarily responsible for facilitating the multi-faceted TTU attack, and racked up 140 assists and 136 assists, respectively. Those totals made Rosamond’s club one of 13 in Division I to have two players with more than 135 helpers.
A large part of the 2018-19 renaissance season was put into place the year before, when Rosamond brought in a massive seven-player freshman class – the second-largest in the OVC – that suited up for the first time in 2017-18.
Three of those rookies saw significant playing time, as Brock, Mackenzie Coleman and Kesha Brady all logged more than 27 minutes per game. Brock was the highest scorer of the trio, averaging 11.3 points per game. Brady led the club with a .429 clip from three-point range, and Coleman posted the fifth-best field goal percentage in the OVC (.484) and blocked 50 shots on her way to a spot on the league’s postseason All-Newcomer Team.
Harris was at the helm of the offense and averaged 34.1 minutes per game, doled out 103 total assists, and tied for third in the conference with a 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Initially voted to finish 11th in the 2016-17 Ohio Valley Conference preseason predictions, the Golden Eagles tied for sixth in the final OVC standings and also returned to the conference tournament for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Upon arriving at Tech, Rosamond had nine years of experience as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt University, 19 seasons of experience in the tough Southeastern Conference as a player and coach and 21 seasons overall in women’s college basketball. Those credentials, coupled with a resume stuffed with success on the court, in the classroom, and on the recruiting trail, led to Rosamond being selected as the perfect fit to take the reins of the tradition-rich Tennessee Tech women’s basketball program.
During her tenure on the Vanderbilt staff, Rosamond helped the Commodores reach seven NCAA Tournaments, two NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteens, one SEC Tournament championship and numerous Top 25 national rankings.
Hired at Vanderbilt before the 2007-08 season, she consistently helped the Commodores land highly rated signing classes. Those highly decorated players enabled Vanderbilt to maintain its status as one of the nation’s top women’s basketball programs.
The recruiting classes that Rosamond helped coordinate were ranked among the nation’s best each year since she took on the role. The 2016 signing class was ranked No. 7 by Blue Star Report and No. 10 by Prospects Nation. Among her other signing groups, the 2014 Vanderbilt recruiting class earned a No. 9 national ranking according to Blue Star Report, and the 2013 signing class helped Vanderbilt earn its 15th-consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the 2013-14 season.
Before her post at Vanderbilt, Rosamond spent two seasons on the staff at Middle Tennessee as an assistant coach from 2003-05 and served as the interim head coach for one month in 2005. During her tenure in Murfreesboro, the Lady Raiders had consecutive 24-win seasons while capturing a pair of Sun Belt Conference championships and a pair of first-round NCAA Tournament upsets over North Carolina and NC State.
Rosamond spent five years as an assistant at her alma mater, Ole Miss, prior to her time at MTSU. She was added to the staff in 1998 just months after graduating with a degree in journalism and advertising, and following four seasons on the Rebel roster. She was promoted to recruiting coordinator in 2001.
As recruiting coordinator, Rosamond played a vital role in signing one of the best players in Ole Miss women's basketball history, Armintie (Price) Herrington. Herrington, who was part of Rosamond's final Rebel recruiting class, went on to claim First Team All-SEC and Associated Press Third Team All-American honors as a senior, along with a pair of SEC Defensive Player of the Year nods in 2006 and 2007. Following her time in the collegiate ranks, Herrington was selected third overall in the 2007 WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky. She would play eight seasons in the league, highlighted by Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team distinctions in her first campaign, and an All-Defensive Second Team listing in 2011.
Rosamond attended high school at Winston Academy in Louisville, Mississippi, where she was recruited to Ole Miss and became a four-year letterwinner for the Lady Rebels (1995-98), and a part of three NCAA Tournament teams. Following her senior year, Rosamond was the recipient of the team’s Lady Rebel Award, which is given to the player who excels on and off the court.