LSUS names Ronnie Howell women's basketball coach
January 27, 2003
LSUS has named Bossier High School boys' basketball coach Ronnie Howell as the university's head women's basketball coach. Before moving to Bossier High School, Howell was head girls' basketball coach for five years at C. E. Byrd High School.
LSUS Athletic Director Doug Robinson made the announcement at a news conference Monday evening in the LSUS gym. Howell's appointment, as is the case with all faculty and staff, is subject to the final approval of the LSU System Board of Supervisors.
As girls' coach at Byrd from 1994 to 1999, Howell had a 122-57 record with five straight Division 5A playoff appearances. His teams were 5A state runners-up in 1997 and 1998. As the boys' coach at Bossier since 1999, Howell has a 67-45 record with three straight Division 4A playoff appearances. Howell's Bearkats are currently 20-8, already more wins than his teams have had in any of the previous three seasons.
"I am just tickled to death to have a coach of Ronnie's caliber lead our women's basketball program," Robinson said. "I've watched the respectful way he treats people and the caring way he handles his players, both of which say volumes about his outstanding character."
LSUS is a member of the NAIA-affiliated Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. Current basketball-playing members of the conference are Belhaven College (Jackson, Miss.), Dillard University (New Orleans), Loyola University (New Orleans), the University of Mobile, Southern University at New Orleans, Spring Hill College (Mobile), Tougaloo (Miss.) College, William Carey College (Hattiesburg, Miss.) and Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans).
Three of the GCAC women's basketball teams are ranked in the NAIA Top 25. In the weekly NAIA ratings issued Jan. 21, Dillard was ranked 12th, Mobile 17th and Xavier 23rd.
"This will be a tough conference," Howell commented. "I've been fortunate at the places I've coached to have players who were willing to work hard. I intend to recruit that type student-athlete at LSUS. When I was at Byrd, I saw some kids who had the ability to play in college but didn't get the chance. Our program will give those type kids an opportunity."
LSUS women's and men's basketball will take to the courts in the 2003-04 season after a half-decade absence from the university. They will join baseball, currently LSUS' only intercollegiate sport. Women's soccer, which will field its first-every LSUS team in fall 2004, will complete the athletic expansion made possible by an increase in students' athletic fee. The fee increase was voted in by students and approved by the System Board to begin last fall.
The 40-year-old coach earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education in 1988 from Baptist Christian College, where he played basketball, and completed a certificate in special education at LSUS in 1993. He taught world history and free enterprise in 1988-89 at Sibley High School, where he was head girls' basketball coach and assistant coach for the boys' basketball and baseball teams.
In 1989-90, Howell coached the girls' basketball team at Donnie Bickham Middle School to a city championship with a 28-1 record. He taught physical education, coached the track team and was assistant football coach.
From 1990 to 1999, he taught special education inclusion at Byrd. He was assistant boys' basketball coach, head junior varsity and head freshman coach from 1990 to 1994. He teaches special education inclusion and physical education at Bossier.
Howell and his wife, the former Robyn Farley, have three children, Ryan, 14, Rachel, 11 and Cameron, 4.