WARNER — Eddie Kite, who has guided the Connors State women’s basketball program for 11 seasons has resigned, announced Connors State President Dr. Tim Faltyn and Athletic Director Bill Muse.
Kite, a native of Murchison, Texas, has accepted a position as women’s basketball coach at Panola Junior College in Carthage, Texas. Kite was offered and accepted the position from the Panola Board of Regents on Monday night. Kite’s employment as head coach of the Fillies begins immediately. Panola has a student enrollment of 2,600.
Muse said Connors will begin a national search immediately for the best available candidate to replace Coach Kite.
“Eddie has been here 11 years and did an excellent job,” said Muse. “We are sorry to see him leave, but it’s a very good opportunity for him and his family. We wish Eddie and his family the very best,” said Muse.
“I have really enjoyed my time here (Connors) and really appreciate Coach Muse for giving me opportunity for my first head coaching experience,” said Kite. “I made some good friends with my fellow coaches and a number of people on campus.
“When you are at a place for 11 years it’s tough to leave. But it’s closer to family, and the Panola program is about to be a gold mine. It’s in a very competitive league that sent three teams to the national tournament.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here. We’ve accomplished some good things here, like going to the national tournament and having some very competitive teams over the years. They came to us (Panola) and I couldn’t pass it up. We’ll have a full allotment of scholarships and a larger recruiting and travel budget.
“My family and I are very excited about this opportunity,” said Kite.
Kite said met with the Cowgirls and told them about the move to Texas and they understood. “I didn’t want then to get sideswiped and hear it from other people. We have good kids on this team. We just went through a train wreck of a season (3-25) with injuries.
“I really applaud that group. They could have laid down and quit, but they kept battling. We just ran out of bullets due to the injuries.
“We’ve had a good run and had a lot of good kids come through the program during my 11 years. We have continued the tradition that Monte Madewell started 35 years ago,” said Kite.
During his 11 year career as the Cowgirls head coach Kite posted a 196-137 win-loss record, while playing in three Region II Championship games, winning the 2009 Region II Championship and advancing to the NJCAA National Tournament.
. The Cowgirls won the 2009 Bi-State Conference and Region II Championship to advance to the NJCAA National Tournament with a 30-5 record and the 2011 Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship and played in the Region II Championship game while finishing with a 28-5 record. He was recognized as Conference Coach of the Year in each of those two seasons and 2009 Region II Coach of Year.
Kite has served as the NJCAA Region II Division I Women’s Athletic Director and served on the NJCAA National Volleyball Committee. He also served as the Region II women’s basketball committee chairman from 2007 to 2011.
Kite inherits a Panola club that finished 8-21 last season and 1-16 in Region XIV play. The Fillies last NJCAA Tournament appearance was 2005, winning national championships in 1977 and 78.