Missouri State introduces Amaka Agugua-Hamilton


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri State named Amaka Agugua-Hamilton as its eighth women’s basketball head coach on Wednesday. 

The first African-American female head coach for any sport at Missouri State, Agugua-Hamilton, 36, is an 18-year veteran of Division I women’s basketball.

She played four seasons at Hofstra before four coaching stops, most recently as Associate Head Coach for Michigan State. 

“Coach Mox has everything we were looking for in a coach,” said Kyle Moats MSU’s director of athletics. “She is a player’s coach, detailed-oriented, disciplined, high integrity, community-oriented, and is completely invested in the student-athlete – wanting to make them great people first and great basketball players second.”

Prior to Michigan State, Agugua-Hamilton was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Old Dominion for two seasons, helping the Monarchs to an eight-win improvement and WNIT berth her second year in 2012-13.

She recruited and coached eight all-CAA selections and one WNBA draft pick while at ODU.

Now entering her first Head Coaching position, she said Missouri State seemed the perfect place to make the leap. 

“It’s a premier program in a mid-major conference,” Head Coach Agugua-Hamilton said. “It operates closer to a BCS school, and better than some. It’s somewhere I thought I’d always want to be. I’ve turned down other opportunities because it wasn’t the right fit for me, but when I met all these great people and administrative staff and did my research, I knew this was a place I wanted to be.”

Agugua-Hamilton married Billy Hamilton in 2017. The couple has a son, Eze, born in April 2018. 

Agugua-Hamilton’s contract, which was also approved by the Board of Governors, is a five-year agreement through April 16, 2024, with a base salary of $240,000.

Additional achievement incentives for NCAA and WNIT appearances, conference championships, coaching honors, attendance average and APR standards are also included in the agreement.  

That salary is nearly $100,000 more than former Head Coach Kellie Harper was given in her initial contract six years ago.

This move by Missouri State shows a dedication to keeping expectations high.

Speaking of Harper, Agugua-Hamilton is inheriting quite the roster from the new Tennessee Lady Vols Head Coach as the Lady Bears’ graduate just one player in Danielle Gitzen.

“What we have coming back is really a great nucleus,” Agugua-Hamilton said. “I know we have some freshmen coming in that are highly talented, as well. But I can’t wait. I look forward to getting in the gym, making them better, but I do think that the core group that we have coming back can really wreak havoc in the Valley.”

Her new players seemed equally positive about their new leader, giving a lot of praise to her high energy and expectations.

“Her energy as soon as she walked through the door just matched our’s,” Sophomore Guard Brice Calip. “We were just excited. She came around and gave everyone a hug. Really sold it for us.”

“We want to do better next year,” Junior Guard Alexa Willard said. “We want to keep improving. We want to see progress and we’re glad she says the same thing.”

“Her energy when she walked into the room, I could just feel it,” Sophomore Guard Bri Ellis said. “She’s always in good spirits. I know that we’ve hit the jackpot.”

As for the risk of transfers, Freshman Forward Jasmine Franklin seemed confident the team is happy where they are.

“We’re sticking together,” Franklin said. ” don’t want to say anybody is leaving but I don’t think we are. We enjoy the coach. Should be interesting.”

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