June 17, 2013
Sharp comes to Southern Miss following a four-year stint as the head coach at Garden City Community College where she turned the Lady Busters program into a top contender each year in the tough Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference and Region VI.
While at GCCC, Sharp guided the Lady Busters to their best record in school history at 29-4 in 2012-13 and ranked No. 13 in the NJCAA Polls. Her career coaching record at Garden City was 83-45 and had the highest winning percentage for all women's coaches. Sharp also produced an All-American player in Tamara Jones from Prosser, Washington over the last two years. Sharp was also named KJCCC Coach of the Year.
During her tenure at GCCC, her teams defeated 11 nationally ranked teams. She posted back-to-back 20-win seasons including the teams' best start at 15-0 during 2012-13. Her teams finished second in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference in 2012 and 2013 while finishing third in 2010. She was awarded the KJCCC Coach of the Year in 2010 while her teams advanced to the semifinals of the Region VI Tournament in 2012 and 2013.
"We're excited to have Alaura Sharp join our Lady Eagle coaching staff," McNelis said. "She brings a tremendous amount of experience, enthusiasm and energy to our program. She's gone through the ropes of being a player, a graduate assistant, an assistant coach and a head coach. She understands that it takes hard work and paying attention to detail to make the difference in winning and losing. She has a shared vision in making a difference in our players' lives, off the court as well as on the court and in the classroom. Her ability to work with players from all different backgrounds was impressive in discussing what her beliefs were in bringing together a team. She has been a great asset in our skill development this summer as well as impacted our recruiting."
Prior to coming Garden City, Sharp spent one season at Lamar Community College in Colorado after a two-year stint at Adams State University as an assistant coach.
Sharp graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southwest Minnesota State University with a bachelor's degree in physical education with a sports management concentration and minor in coaching. Prior to SMSU, she received her AA degree from Fort Scott Community College where she was a two-year letterwinner. She was named a Kansas Jayhawk Community College second team all-conference selection while averaging 14.0 points and 12.0 rebounds. She also earned NJCAA Academic All-American honors. Sharp concluded her collegiate career at Southwest Minnesota State where she led her team in steals at 3.5 per game.
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