At a Thursday afternoon press conference, athletic director Tom Burman announced to local media that former assistant coach of University of Arkansas, Charity Elliot, is Portland State’s new head women’s basketball coach.
Elliot is the ninth head coach in the program’s 29 years, and is replacing former head coach, George Wolfe.
“Charity’s resume as both a coach and a player, combined with her passion for success, made her the clear choice to lead our program,” Burman said. “Portland State women’s basketball has a tradition of success that needs to be restored and I believe Charity has the ability and drive to accomplish that.”
Elliot commented, “You get out of it what you put into it, I’m ready to pour my whole self into it, and I will give every single thing that I have.”
As a player, Elliot, was a vital part of Southwest Missouri State’s first Final Four team in 1992. Elliot spent her first two years as a student-athlete at Rice University where she averaged 16 points per game. She was ranked in the top 10 nationally in free throw percentage, was named SMS’ Woman of the Year, and helped the Lady Bears go 57-8 during her two seasons in Springfield.
Before becoming head coach, Elliot served as an assistant coach at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Montana from 1997-99, and at Southwest Missouri State from 1995-97.
Before returning to SMS to coach under Cheryl Burnett, Elliot spent the 1993-94 season at San Diego State. Prior to taking the head coach position at Portland State, Elliot spent the 2003-04 season on Susie Gardner’s staff at Arkansas.
“Charity has the experience and mind set of a head coach, and was itching to get back into head coaching. She is very knowledgeable of the game and her enthusiasm is unmatched. We will miss her enthusiastic approach to life and the positive attitude she brought to the office every day.”
Jackie Stiles, the former Portland Fire star, 2001 WNBA Rookie of the Year and fellow SMS alum, who also was coached by Elliot at different camps as a youth player commented on Elliot’s new position: “Coach Elliot is a perfect fit for the Portland State women’s basketball program. She led Southwest Missouri State to the final four as a player and was able to learn from one of the most successful coaches in women’s basketball, coach Cheryl Burnett. She only knows winning as a player and a coach. Her enthusiasm, knowledge, and work ethic are unmatched. I have no doubt that she will take Portland State to the next level.”
Elliot preaches four things in the sport: passion, excitement, intensity, and most importantly, integrity. Flying in Wednesday night from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Elliot jumped right into things flying right back out Friday to start recruiting.
“Working at Portland State is an incredible opportunity,” said Elliot. “I was so impressed with the administration’s commitment to women’s basketball and knew right away that it was a perfect fit. Portland is a hotbed for women’s basketball and great city to recruit, too.”