Promise made, promise delivered.
Kilgore College Athletic Director Jimmy Rieves said upon receiving the resignation for former women’s basketball coach Anna Nimz that he hoped to have her successor in place by July 1. And he’s achieved that goal, as the Lady Rangers have a new head coach: Addie Lees.
Lees comes to KC from Texas State University, where she was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. And she realizes, as just the sixth head coach in KC women’s basketball history, that she’s assuming a bit of an iconic position – many from Kilgore still envision the days of the late Evelyn Blalock patrolling the sidelines in high heels, barking instructions and winning national championships.
“The Kilgore College women’s basketball team has been successful for many years,” Lees said, in a statement released by KC on Thursday morning. “The winning tradition dates back to basketball legend Evelyn Blalock. I am thankful and honored to be a part of this foundation, and I look forward to contributing to the program’s success as the new head coach.”
Lees plans to meet the local media and others at KC on Friday morning at an 11 a.m. press conference on the second floor of the McLaurin Administration Building on campus.
“We are thrilled to have coach Lees to take over the Lady Rangers program,” said Rieves, the college’s former head football coach who is set to begin his 12th year as athletic director this fall. “With her coaching and recruiting experience, especially at the junior college level, we feel she will be a perfect fit to guide the program in the right direction. We are looking for a coach with not only a history of athletic success, but a coach who places just as much of an emphasis on classroom success. We feel like with Lees, we get both of those, and more.”
It was also noted that at TSU, Lees was in charge of guard development and assisted with scouting.
Prior to her tenure in San Marcos, Lees was head coach at Clarendon College, and had some success there in two seasons, including over conference champ New Mexico Junior College, the first win over NMJC in Clarendon’s basketball history.
In addition to those stops, she coached at Howard College (2012-14) as an assistant after starting her coaching career Eastern New Mexico University in 2009, as a graduate assistant.
Lees, who is from Plainview, has been used to winning. As a point guard for her high school team, she was a part of two state titles and a runner-up finish at Plainview High, and then made regional appearances twice at Midland College in 2005 and 2006.
She continued her playing career at Arkansas-Monticello, helping the team get to a conference title game. She graduated UAM with a Bachelor of Arts in 2009, and got a master’s degree from Eastern New Mexico two years later.
It’s fair to say Lees is taking over a program on the upswing. Nimz coached at Kilgore College for three seasons, and definitely steered the program in the right direction while she was here. The Lady Rangers were missing the conference tournament before her arrival in 2015, and she helped make them not only regulars, but a dark horse to win it.
KC reached the tournament’s title game in spring, 2017, losing to conference power Trinity Valley. But the next season, this season, the Lady Rangers knocked off Trinity Valley – their first win over the Lady Cardinals in a deacde – en route to the conference title game. They lost there to Tyler Junior College, but won 42 games in two seasons.