KENDRA HASSELL | HEAD COACH
Kendra Hassell led UT Tyler to new heights in her first season as head coach with the Patriots advancing to the NCAA Division III Elite 8 for the first time in program history and finishing with an incredible 30-2 overall record.
Hassell was named the South Region Coach of the Year and the American Southwest Conference Coach of the Year after the Patriots went 15-0 in conference play and then earned NCAA tournament wins over UC Santa Cruz, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and No. 2-ranked George Fox. The historic season was on a 22-game winning streak before the Patriots took an 80-74 loss to Wartburg in the Elite 8 – just one win from the NCAA Final Four.
Under Hassell’s leadership, junior guard Michelle Obach earned WBCA All-America and ASC East Division Player of the Year honors, while Obach, Makenzi May, D’Onna Matthews and Alex Kochner earned all-conference honors. UT Tyler established new program records by advancing to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight, winning 30 games, amassing a 22-game winning streak, scoring 2,677 points (83.7 points per game), hitting 285 3-pointers, making 955 shots, dishing out 569 assists, grabbing 1,401 rebounds (566 offensive/835 defensive), blocking 93 shots along with owning an 18.1 scoring margin advantage throughout the season.
Hassell joined the UT Tyler family in May of 2015, and brought with her a wealth of experience from NCAA DI's Abilene Christian. She also brings with her experience as a player in the American Southwest Conference garnering All-American honors with Hardin-Simmons.
Hassell spent two seasons as an assistant coach with Abilene Christian, helping to lead the Wildcats to 35 wins in two seasons while competing as a member of the Southland Conference.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Kendra and her family to the City of Tyler and to UT Tyler. Kendra had a tremendously successful playing career in the American Southwest Conference, setting numerous records during her time at Hardin-Simmons", said Dr. Howard Patterson, Vice President for Student Affairs.
"Kendra knows what the D3 experience is like, and will use that knowledge to help lead the UT Tyler women's basketball team to even more success in the years to come."
Prior to ACU, Hassell spent three seasons coaching at Carroll University in Wisconsin where she helped the Pioneers to three straight winning seasons while coaching two Midwestern Conference Player of the Year award recipients.
Prior to joining the Carroll staff, Hassell spent one season (2009-10) on the staff at Texas Woman's University where she helped lead TWU to a 15-12 record and 9-5 mark in the Lone Star Conference.
Prior to coaching at TWU, Hassell coached for one season at Fort Worth Paschal High School, and before that she spent three seasons working for Goodenough as the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Charleston Southern University.
Prior to coaching at Charleston Southern, Hassell was as an assistant coach at Forney High School in Forney, Texas from 2005-2006 and a graduate assistant coach at Oklahoma State University from 2003-2005. She also served as a camp counselor at Hardin-Simmons University (1999-2002) and Oklahoma State (2003-2004) and camp director at Bronte High School in 2000 and Graham High School in 2003.
Hassell played four years at Hardin-Simmons University and was a two-time Kodak First Team All-American, Verizon Academic All-American and American Southwest Conference Female Athlete of the Year. She was also named Conference Players of the Year and Region Player of the Year in 2002 and 2003. Hassell received the 2003 NCAA Texas Woman of the Year honors and selected to the D3Hoops.com Division-III Hoops All-Decade Team in 2007.
In 2014, Hassell was inducted into the American Southwest Conference Hall of Honor. She finished her Hardin-Simmons career ranked second all-time in points scored (1,759) averaging 15.6 points per game. She is the all-time leader in field goals attempted (1,292) and is tied for the lead in career field goals made (694). She also finished ranked third all-time in rebounds (955).
Hassell graduated from Hardin-Simmons with a bachelor degree in behavioral science while earning her master's degree in exercise science at Oklahoma State in 2005.
Hassell has a daughter, Kaylee.
CHYNNA TURNER | ASSISTANT COACH
Chynna Turner enters her second season as the UT Tyler women's basketball assistant coach after helping head coach Kendra Hassell and the Patriots to the NCAA Division III Elite 8 for the first time in program history and finishing the 2015-16 season with an incredible 30-2 overall record.
The Patriots went 15-0 in conference play and then earned NCAA tournament wins over UC Santa Cruz, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and No. 2-ranked George Fox. The historic season was on a 22-game winning streak before the Patriots took an 80-74 loss to Wartburg in the Elite 8 – just one win from the NCAA Final Four.
Under Hassell and Turner's leadership, junior guard Michelle Obach earned WBCA All-America and ASC East Division Player of the Year honors, while Obach, Makenzi May, D’Onna Matthews and Alex Kochner earned all-conference honors. UT Tyler established new program records by advancing to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight, winning 30 games, amassing a 22-game winning streak, scoring 2,677 points (83.7 points per game), hitting 285 3-pointers, making 955 shots, dishing out 569 assists, grabbing 1,401 rebounds (566 offensive/835 defensive), blocking 93 shots along with owning an 18.1 scoring margin advantage throughout the season.
Turner is a former Wichita State Shocker standout and Ole Miss Graduate Assistant Chynna Turner has been named the UT Tyler Women's Basketball assistant coach.
Turner came to Tyler from Ole Miss University, where she served as the Rebels' Graduate Assistant for two seasons.
“I’m extremely excited for Chynna to be joining our Patriot family," said Hassell when she hired Turner. "She has a unique perspective from her playing and coaching career that will enhance our player development, recruiting, and overall program. Coach Turner is very driven and passionate about basketball. She will serve as a great example and will be able to mentor our players on how to be successful both on and off the court.”
Turner assisted in numerous areas for the Rebels, including collaborating with coaches on the development of post players, overseeing student managers, developing scouting reports, stat-keeping and more.
The Houston native also was a four-year letterwinner at Wichita State University, helping the Shockers reach new heights on and off the court.
During her four seasons at Wichita State, the program won its first-ever Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season and Championship tournament titles. She also helped the Shockers notch the school's first win in the WNIT Tournament, and first appearance since 2000, while also serving as the team's captain during her senior year.
Turner left her mark on the program, ranking in the top-25 all-time in the Wichita State record books in numerous categories, including second all-time in Games Played (130), 22nd all-time in scoring (974), 23rd in Field-Goal Percentage (.449), and 21st all-time with 555 total rebounds.
Turner earned her M.A. of Sociology at Ole Miss in 2015, while earning a B.A. in Sports Management from Wichita State in 2013.