• 70°

Alcorn hires Nate Kilbert as women’s basketball head coach

LORMAN — Alcorn State is digging into its past to try and send its women’s basketball program toward a brighter future.

Alcorn on Tuesday announced that it has hired Nate Kilbert as its next women’s basketball head coach. He was part of three Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament championship teams as an Alcorn assistant coach from 1987-2001, and will now be charged with resurrecting a program that has not had a winning record since the 2006-07 season.

“What an awesome opportunity this is to be able to return to Alcorn State University where I not only earned my master’s degree, but also helped the Lady Braves establish themselves as a powerhouse in the SWAC,” Kilbert said in statement. “Beginning with success in the classroom and doing something I’ve always done — recruiting students who are equipped with skills to matriculate success in their academic fields, and who will all leave the University with their degree in hand. The return of Lady Braves basketball to their glory days begins right here and right now. We’ve had some good days, but the best is yet to come.”

Kilbert served as an assistant coach at Alcorn from 1991-2001. During that span, the Lady Braves won six regular season and three SWAC tournament championships. He also was a graduate assistant at Alcorn from 1987-89.

Since leaving Alcorn in 2001, Kilbert has spent 18 years as a head coach in the SWAC at Mississippi Valley State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Kilbert coached Valley — his alma mater — to the SWAC regular season title in 2011-12 and made an appearance in the NIT. He was the SWAC women’s Coach of the Year in 2012 at Valley and again in 2013 at UAPB.

Kilbert had a 57-184 record in six seasons at UAPB. He was fired just 10 games into the 2018-19 season after the Lady Lions lost their first three SWAC games.

“We’re excited to tip off the decade by hiring a women’s basketball coach with a proven track record of winning conference championships and graduating students. (Kilbert) and AD (Derek) Horne have assured me that we’ll have championship rings and college degrees,” Alcorn State University president Dr. Felecia M. Nave said in a statement.

As a student-athlete, Kilbert was a four-year letterwinner at MVSU. The point guard led the team to the 1986 SWAC Championship and went on to play in the NCAA Tournament. He was inducted into the MVSU Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

In addition to his assistant basketball coaching duties at Alcorn, Kilbert was also the volleyball head coach from 1994-2000. In seven seasons, the Lady Braves never had a losing record in conference play, and Kilbert tallied an 89-51 SWAC record.