The coach who steered the Hartwick College women’s basketball program to two trips to the NCAA Division III tournament is taking her talents to Florida.
Missy West, the winner of 95 games over the past six seasons in Oneonta, will leave Hartwick to become the head coach at Division II Saint Leo’s College in Florida, Hartwick announced Tuesday. West will begin her new job June 2.
“Although leaving Hartwick is very difficult, I am very excited for my next adventure,” West said in a media release by the school. “This position offers new opportunities for new growth, new connections and new learning experiences, all of which I do look forward to. I am so appreciative to have this new opportunity come my way.”
Over the past three seasons, the Hawks won 22 games each year. They went to the NCAA tournament in 2012 and 2014, and won an ECAC championship in 2013.
“Missy will be greatly missed,” Hartwick Athletic Director Kimberly Fierke said. “She has made tremendous strides with the women’s basketball program in her six seasons. This is a wonderful opportunity for her professionally and we wish her all the success at Saint Leo.”
Hartwick’s upward surge started in earnest in the 2011-12 season as West helped the Hawks to a 22-6 record and an invitation to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999. The Hawks went 12-2 in Empire 8 play and they advanced to the Empire 8 Championship game for the first time.
The following season, Hartwick earned its first ECAC championship.
This past season, the Hawks set a program record for conference victories (13) and earned a share of the E8 Conference regular-season title. Hartwick also won its first NCAA tournament game in 23 years.
West earned E8 Coach of the Year honors in 2012 and 2014, and was a finalist for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III Coach of the Year in 2012.