FULTON, Mo. – Westminster women's basketball Head Coach James Arnold announced the completion of his coaching staff for the 2017-18 season, adding four assistants.
Clifton Cooper will stay on as an assistant, making the upcoming season his 17th as a Blue Jay. Cooper has contributed to the immense success of the women's basketball program during that time, including the program's first-ever berth into the NCAA Tournament in 2011-12 and the first-ever SLIAC regular season (2010-11) and Tournament titles (2011-12). Arnold will be the third Head Coach of the Blue Jay women's basketball program that Cooper has worked under.
"It was an absolute no brainer to try to retain Coach Cooper," said Arnold. "He and I have a lot of mutual friends and after we connected, all the great things I've always heard were confirmed. The program and I will benefit tremendously from his experience and past successes
Also joining the staff is Matt Moore. Matt joins the Westminster staff following two years as a student manager for the Southeast Missouri State University women's basketball team. While with the NCAA Division I program, he was instrumental and active in practices as well as in individual & small group workouts for the Redhawks. Moore assisted the director of basketball operations with practice/workout preparations and set-up, along with locker room and laundry maintenance and pre and post-game meal arrangements. Moore was also responsible for filming practices, games, and uploading film for opponent exchange.
"Matt has an extremely bright future," added Arnold. "I was so fortunate to work with him the last couple of years at SEMO. No job was too small for him and he proved to be a loyal and tireless worker. His basketball prowess is mature beyond his years and our familiarity with one another will be a plus."
Keener Tippin will join the staff with immense high school coaching experience, most recently as the girls' basketball Head Coach at Douglas High School in Columbia, Mo., from 2010-12. Tippin has also coached and been part of the athletic department at Tolton Catholic High School and Rock Bridge High School. From 2010-12, he also served as a graduate assistant in the athletic department at Stephens College, overseeing the sports media department. Tippin has also directed a club girls' basketball team since 2000 known as the Lady Deuces and Young Deuces, establishing competitive teams for girls in grade 3-12.
"I have known and admired Coach Keener for a long time," said Arnold. "He is extremely beloved in mid Missouri basketball circles and has some great experiences to bring to our staff. He is one of the most hardworking people I know and his basketball programs have always reflected that."
The final addition to the women's basketball staff is former Blue Jay Talisha Washington. A 2013 graduate of Westminster College, Washington was a three-year letter-winner for the women's basketball program, starting all 28 games as a senior. Washington was a member of the first-ever Westminster women's basketball team to win the SLIAC regular season and Tournament titles, earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Since graduation, Washington has been a personal trainer and Sport and Programs Director at the Callaway YMCA. Her YMCA experience has given her many youth coaching responsibilities, as well as implementing the leagues for nine sports. Washington was also responsible for creating and maintaining a budget for the programs for each fiscal year.
"Talisha is dynamic! She exudes pride and confidence and I know our ladies will benefit from her being on staff," said Arnold. "She is passionate about basketball but most importantly she is passionate about Blue Jay basketball. She loves this program, this school, and this city.
"I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with such a wonderful and diverse group of people," continued Arnold. "They all bring different experiences and insights to the table and I am excited to dig in and get to work with them and our ladies."
The Blue Jay season will begin November 17 against Illinois College for the Tip-Off Tournament in Greenville, Illinois.