Heather Howard has been selected as the new head women’s basketball coach at Friends University, athletic director Rob Ramseyer has announced. Howard replaces Interim head coach Nicole Midder, who guided the Falcons to their third straight NAIA National Tournament berth this past season along with the program’s second consecutive KCAC regular season championship
“We are excited that Heather will be our next women’s basketball coach,” Friends University Athletic Director Rob Ramseyer said.
“Her tireless work ethic, basketball IQ, and holistic approach to coaching will make a positive impact on our basketball program, athletic department and institution.”
Howard comes to Friends from Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU), where she served as the interim head coach in March of this past season following a two-year stint as assistant coach for the NCAA D-II program in Maryville, Mo.
As the assistant coach at NWMSU, Howard handled the duties of recruiting, scouting and player development.
Howard’s run at Northwest was preceded by a two-year tenure as assistant at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.
While at Cornell, Howard was in charge of recruiting and player development along with serving as the strength and conditioning coordinator. She coached a four-time first-team all-conference and second-team all-region player while recruiting the 2017 Conference Newcomer of the Year.
Howard began her coaching career at the same spot she wrapped her playing career, at Missouri Western State University (MWSU) in St. Joseph, Mo.
She was both a graduate assistant coach and compliance graduate assistant at MWSU in the 2013-14 season.
Her one season on the hardwood at MWSU was impactful, as she averaged 13.1 points per game along with 9.1 rebounds per game for the Griffons in the 2012-13 campaign.
Howard started her collegiate career at Oklahoma State University, earning three varsity letters and helping the Cowgirls capture the 2011-12 WNIT championship.
She was also successful in the classroom at OSU, picking up a pair of Academic All-Big 12 first-team honors.
“I am truly honored and excited to be named the head women’s basketball coach at Friends University,” Howard said.
“I’m so thankful to Athletic Director Rob Ramseyer and President Carey for giving me this opportunity. The tradition of success at Friends University is well known and I can’t wait to continue to build that tradition while also creating a positive atmosphere for student-athletes to grow on and off the court.”
Howard completed her Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from OSU in 2012 before earning a Master of Science degree in Sports Fitness and Management at MWSU in 2014.
What they’re saying about Coach Howard:
Jim Littell, former Friends University WBB head coach (1983-88) and current OSU WBB head coach:
“Heather’s work ethic, attention to detail and people skills will all aid her to be successful at Friends University. Having coached at Friends, I know her values and desire to help young people embodies what the university stands for.”
Missouri Western University WBB head coach Rob Edmisson:
“Home run!” Friends University just hired a great person with a great sense of loyalty, work ethic and passion for the game. Coach Howard will be a great addition to the university and the community.”
Cornell College WBB head coach Brent Brase:
“First, Friends University is getting a great person – Coach Howard has great character and integrity and will be a great representative of the University and basketball program. Second, she will be a great mentor for the young ladies she coaches and a positive influence on the lives she touches around the campus community. Finally, Friends University is getting a great basketball mind with the knowledge, skills and desire to build a great, sustained culture throughout the program!”