Vaughn named Head Basketball Coach at Mississippi University for Women

Mississippi University for Women has named veteran coach Eric Vaughn as its new women’s basketball head coach, it was announced by Director of Athletics Buddy Foster. Vaughn comes to The W with more than 30 years of coaching experience at all levels, for both women and men.
“We are excited to welcome Eric Vaughn to the Owls Family,” Foster said. “We had a lot of interest in this position, but his résumé quickly rose to the top of the pile because of his extensive background and knowledge of the game. Additionally, he has far-reaching ties to women’s basketball – especially in the state of Mississippi – which is a great asset in recruiting student-athletes. We look forward to him and his wife Francis joining the Columbus community.”
Vaughn, most recently, served as an assistant coach for the Millsaps College women’s basketball team for the 2023-24 season. Prior to that, Vaughn served as the interim men’s head coach at Mississippi Delta Community College for one season (2022-23). He also had stints as an assistant for the Millsaps, Jackson State, and Indiana Tech University men’s basketball programs, as well as the first assistant for Mississippi Valley State women’s basketball (2021-22).  
But to Vaughn, the game of basketball has been more than just a job; it has been a lifetime passion – a ministry – to him. In 1998 he founded the Blessed IJN Sports AAU program and Academy, also serving as its coach through 2008. He mentored the likes of NBA player Mason Plumlee and the late James Hardy (an NFL wide receiver) through the Blessed IJN program.
Vaughn also possesses a long list of prep coaching assignments during the early years of his storied career. Additionally, he has coached on the professional level as an assistant coach in the CBA and a head coach in the ABA and TRBL.
“I really don’t have the words to say how thankful I am to be chosen as the next Head Women’s Basketball Coach here at Mississippi University for Women,” Vaughn said. “It is truly a blessing from God. I want to thank Athletic Director Buddy Foster, President Nora Miller, and the hiring committee for trusting me with this opportunity. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my wife for life Francis, all of my children and my best friend Roosevelt Barnes for supporting me all these years as I chased my coaching dreams.
“I’m really excited about coaching here at the W because I believe it is a sleeping giant that is about to awaken when it comes to women’s basketball. We have very good core players returning and we are bringing some good recruits to go along with them so that we can win now.”
Raised in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Vaughn relocated to Saginaw, Michigan, during his high school years, where he was an all-state player for Saginaw Valley Lutheran H.S. Vaughn began his college career at Michigan Christian College (now Rochester University), where he led the school to a 1989 USCAA national championship. He was the tournament “MVP” and a first-team All-American, also entering the school’s Hall of Fame in 2022. He continued his college career at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in General Studies.
Vaughn and his wife, Francis, have five children: Jerald, Feryn (James), Mary, Eliana, and Eric Jr. He has two grandchildren Jerian (4) and Trey (2).
“Owls Nation can expect an exciting fast-paced brand of basketball that I refer to as ‘organized chaos’,” Vaughn continued. “We are not trying to trick anyone, as we will play pressure defense along with pressure offense.”
Vaughn is the third coach in the modern era of women’s basketball at The W. He will begin his duties on May 1, 2024.

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