MARSHALL —The Wiley College women’s basketball program is heading in a new direction as Lenise Stallings was introduced as head coach in a press conference at the Fred T. Long Student Union Ballroom on Thursday.
She succeeds Bianca McGee who led the Lady Wildcats to 11 victories in two seasons. Stallings will be the Lady Wildcats’ fourth head coach in the last six seasons — which is something she hopes to change.
“We are going to bring stability back to this program,” Stallings said. “We are going to enhance recruitment and be out in the community. I’m extremely relational. I’m a mom first. I never turn off my coaching side. If you call me at midnight, you are going to get a coach but you’re going to get a mom. That’s where we are going to be in the first year. We are going to be our best self every day.”
Stallings comes to Wiley College after serving as an assistant coach at Tennessee State University — a Historically Black College and University — for the last two seasons. Before that she was an assistant coach at her alma mater Mississippi Valley State University — which is also an HBCU. Getting her first career head coaching position at an HBCU is special for Stallings.
“A Historically Black University believed in me and gave me a scholarship at Mississippi Valley,” Stallings said. “I’ve coached and played at HBCUs. That is what initially drew me to Wiley. Additionally it’s a faith based institution. It’s where I can exude my faith. It’s where I can openly talk about how God is keeping me and going to keep me. I need Him every step of the journey.”
At Tennessee State, Stallings played an integral role in scouting opponents, game planning and developing individual players through skill drills. She mentored a 1,000-point scorer, Second Team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection, The OVC leader in rebounds and the OVC Freshman of the Year.
In her time at Mississippi Valley State University, she helped a 1,000-point scorer, the Southwestern Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, the SWAC leader in rebounds, and had players rank in the Top 20 of the SWAC in scoring, 3-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
As a player, Stallings helped the Delta Devils to the SWAC regular season championship in 2011-12 and a women’s National Invitation Tournament bid. In her final two seasons she led the SWAC in 3-point field goal percentage – hitting over 40 percent.
In her first season, Stallings will look to improve on an 8-19 season which Wiley College qualified for the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament by virtue of a tiebreaker. The Lady Wildcats are expected to return five players from last season’s team including All-Conference Honorable Mention Armonie Lomax as they look to end the program’s four-year national tournament drought. Wiley College picked up three recruits who were present at the press conference.
Stallings graduated from Mississippi Valley State University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She earned her Master’s degree in Bioinformatics in 2016. Stallings has a daughter named Kyia.