COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Director of Athletics Mike Alden announced today that Robin Pingeton has been named the fourth Head Women's Basketball Coach at Mizzou. Pingeton, who has 15 years of head coaching experience, spent the last seven years as the head coach at Illinois State.
"We are very excited to have someone the caliber of Robin Pingeton as our head women's basketball coach at Mizzou," Alden said. "Coach Pingeton is an outstanding fit for our program, for the University, for the city of Columbia, and for our fan base. We are very confident that she will come in and develop a winning program and that she will do it the right way, with a sharp focus on our three core values of academic integrity, social responsibility and competitive excellence. This is an outstanding hire for Mizzou, and we are excited for our student-athletes, who stand to benefit from her leadership."
"I am really excited about the opportunity at Missouri," said Pingeton. "This is a great place. I've been so impressed with all of the people that I've met, and the facilities and resources available here. We have a lot of work ahead of us but we have never been afraid of hard work. It starts today. I have so much respect for the Big 12, I think it is the best conference in the country for women's basketball. We're looking forward to the opportunity to building Missouri women's basketball into something special," she said.
In seven years at the helm of Illinois State, Pingeton amassed a 144-81 (.640) record and brought the Redbird program back to national prominence. During her tenure, she led the school to three straight Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season titles, two State Farm Missouri Valley Tournament championships, a school-best four straight 20-win seasons, two NCAA Tournament berths and three WNIT appearances en route to Missouri Valley Coach of the Year honors in 2004 and 2010. Over the past three seasons, Pingeton compiled an 81-23 (.779) mark to put together the best three-year span in Illinois State history.
This past season Pingeton led the Redbirds to their third consecutive Missouri Valley Regular Season title, the semifinals of the WNIT and a 28-8 record. In Illinois State's WNIT run, the team earned wins over Butler, Purdue, Illinois and a 71-51 victory over Big 12 Conference rival Kansas. The 28 wins tied the 1980-81 Illinois State team for the most in program history and assured the team of at least 22 wins for the fourth straight year. Her efforts garnered Russell Athletic / Women's Basketball Coaches Association Region Six Coach of the Year and Missouri Valley Coach of the Year accolades.
Pingeton's 2008-09 squad went 27-8 and had a 16-5 conference mark as the team earned its first ever outright Missouri Valley Regular Season title and advanced to the WNIT semifinals. One year earlier, the Redbirds went 26-7 to post the second-best winning percentage (.788) in school history, earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament and claimed the State Farm Missouri Valley Tournament title and a share of the regular season crown.
In her first year on the Illinois State sideline, Pingeton earned Missouri Valley Coach of the Year honors after a 16-13 mark, the first winning season for the Redbirds in seven seasons. The following year Illinois State earned its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1989 after claiming the Missouri Valley Tournament Championship. Pingeton then led the team to a 22-11 record in 2006-07, Illinois State's first 20-win season since 1989-90.
Familiar with the Big 12, Pingeton spent three seasons on Bill Fennelly's staff at Iowa State, including the 2002-03 season as the associate head coach. During her time in Ames, Iowa State went
66-33, made two NCAA Tournament appearances and won the 2001 Big 12 Tournament title.
Pingeton started her head coaching career at her alma mater, St. Ambrose, in 1992. In eight seasons, the Bees qualified for five NAIA National Tournaments, including Elite Eight berths in 1996 and 2000. Pingeton was named the conference coach of the year three times and the NAIA Kodak District Coach of the Year in 2000.
A 1990 graduate of St. Ambrose, Pingeton stands as the school's all-time scoring leader with 2,502 points, and earned All-America honors in both basketball and softball. She also played three seasons of professional basketball in the Women's Basketball Association.
Pingeton and her husband Rich are the parents of son Blake, born June 9, 2006.
ROBIN PINGETON'S HEAD COACHING HISTORY
2003-04 16-13 (.552) MVC Coach of the Year
2004-05 13-18 (.419) NCAA First Round; MVC Tournament Champion
2005-06 12-16 (.429)
2006-07 22-11 (.667) WNIT Second Round
2007-08 26-7 (.788) NCAA First Round; MVC Regular Season Champ.; MVC Tourn. Champ.
2008-09 27-8 (.771) WNIT Semifinals; MVC Regular Season Champion;
2009-10 28-8 (.778) WNIT Semis.; MVC Regular Season Champ.; MVC Coach of the Year
Illinois State Total: 144-81 (.640)
1992-93 23-8 (.742)
1993-94 25-7 (.781) NAIA National Tournament
1995-96 30-6 (.833) NAIA National Elite Eight
1996-97 27-7 (.794) NAIA National Tournament
1997-98 20-15 (.571)
1998-99 19-15 (.559) NAIA National Tournament
1999-2000 30-7 (.811) NAIA National Elite Eight
St. Ambrose Total: 194-76 (.719)
CAREER HEAD COACHING RECORD
15 years: 338-157 (.683)
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT ROBIN PINGETON
"Robin Pingeton is the complete package. She's an outstanding coach and teacher and she will be an excellent ambassador for Mizzou women's basketball. She has a proven track record of winning with quality student-athletes -- Kristi Cirone was a three-time MVC Player of the Year and an Academic All-American. This past season, she represented the Valley very well in postseason play with wins over Purdue, Kansas and Illinois. She'll bring instant credibility to her program."
Doug Elgin, Commissioner, Missouri Valley Conference
"Robin is one of the up-and-coming stars in our profession. She really is the whole package. She has a tremendous family, she is very committed to the university and its mission and she is obviously an outstanding basketball coach and teacher. Robin has worked very hard to get to this point. She is very committed to her student-athletes and their success in life. I couldn't be more proud of her. Missouri made a tremendous hire."
Bill Fennelly, Head Coach, Iowa State University
"Robin is a great hire for Missouri. She has been a winner throughout her career and she showed that by turning around the Illinois State program and leading it to consistent success. I have the utmost respect for Robin because she gets the most out of her players. Her team always plays hard and is well prepared, so as an opposing coach you know that you're going to be in for a battle. I have no doubts that Robin has the experience and the drive to bring Missouri women's basketball back into the national spotlight."
Jolette Law, Head Coach, University of Illinois
"Robin Pingeton will be an excellent addition to the University of Missouri community. She has experienced winning at every level. Coach Pingeton has demonstrated the ability to recruit, plan, prepare and game adjust, which are all important characteristics a coach must have to be successful in the dynamic Big 12."
Debbie Antonelli, Women's Basketball Analyst