Jason Pugh, Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
NATCHITOCHES – Missy Bilderback has chosen to not remain the Northwestern State women’s basketball head coach, Director of Athletics Greg Burke announced Friday.
Bilderback was announced as the ninth head coach in Lady Demons history March 18 after a successful five-season run at Jones College in Mississippi but will not coach a game for Northwestern State, citing personal reasons for her decision to change course.
“After extensive deliberation and in consultation with her family, Missy has made a decision that because of the rapid nationwide development of COVID-19, a move to Natchitoches and NSU would not be in their best interest,” Burke said. “Missy had been on the job for over a week prior to making this decision and had hit the ground running. I was really looking forward to working with her and to watching the positive impact I knew she would have on our student-athletes.”
In addition to understanding the need to work remotely, Burke and Bilderback discussed additional options that would help facilitate the latter and her family’s move to NSU and Natchitoches amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Said Burke: “The university was willing to make concessions that would be helpful to her and her family, but ultimately, she chose to return to Mississippi and stay at Jones College. Family is and always has been the top priority for the NSU athletic program, so we respect this difficult decision and wish Missy the best as she moves forward with her career.”
The search to find Bilderback’s replacement already has begun.
“Throughout the process to identify a new women’s basketball coach, NSU was blessed with a quality pool of applicants and a dedicated hiring committee,” Burke said. “None of that has changed. Starting with a Webex meeting this weekend, the committee will convene with the intention of moving expeditiously but with a thorough level of assessment to attract a coach who will be a good fit for our team, university and community.”