Becky Vest begins her first year at the helm of the Lady Bobcats program. After serving eleven years as an assistant to Coach George Wilson, she is well prepared to assume her new assignment. Coach Vest has been instrumental in helping the Lady Bobcats become one of the top NAIA programs in the nation as well as the Midlands Conference. During Coach Vest’s time as assistant coach, the Lady Bobcats have compiled a 325-54 record. The team has been to the national tournament each year and has been an Elite Eight team seven of the last nine seasons, including five trips to the Final Four and four National Tournament Runner-up finishes.
Coach Vest is strongly committed to the mission of the college, striving to recruit student-athletes who meet the standards of the college and can uphold the tradition of the women's basketball program both on and off the court. Coach Vest leads by example and motivates her players to work hard toward achieving the expected level of excellence in the program and the classroom. She played an instrumental role in the team winning the 2011-2012 NAIA Buffalo Funds annual award and What's Right in Sports Award due to their fundraising efforts for the Joplin High School girls basketball program following the devastating Joplin tornado.
Coach Vest played for Coach Wilson for two years after transferring from John Brown University. She graduated from C of O in 2003 cum laude with a double major in secondary education and physical education. Coach Vest completed her master’s degree in Physical Education at Missouri State in 2005 and is currently a full-time Assistant Professor in the College's Physical Education Department. She is a graduate of Stoutland High School.
First-year Assistant Coach Morgan Smith is no stranger to the College’s basketball program, having been an integral member of the Lady Cat team the past four years! As well as setting numerous records (most points and field goals in a season), Morgan concluded her collegiate career by being named to the First Team of the NAIA 2012-2013 Division II Women’s Basketball All-America team. She was the MCAC Player of the Year in 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13; she was also a first-team All-American in 2011-12 and 2012-13. In 2011-12, Morgan was named an NAIA First Team All-Tournament member.
Coach Smith is an excellent student of the game, and that factor, combined with the fierce competitiveness she always brought to her game, will be a great asset to the program. Her responsibilities will include strength and conditioning, practice preparation, scouting and post player development.
Coach Smith is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art: Graphic Design and Ceramics and will graduate in December 2013. She played basketball for Marshfield High School her first three seasons and was a key contributor for the Nixa Lady Eagles Class 5 State Championship her senior year.