Athens — Trinity Valley Community College head women’s basketball coach Elena Lovato has announced her resignation to join the staff of Mississippi State University.
Lovato has accepted a position to serve as an assistant women’s basketball coach under Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer. Her resignation is effective June 30, and TVCC President Dr. Glendon Forgey said with the recruiting season in full swing, the search for her replacement is already underway.
“I have truly been blessed the two years I have been here, and I feel like it’s God’s plan for me to move on,” Lovato said. “I can’t tell the community and all our fans how grateful and appreciative I am for their support and everything they did for us.
“I still expect nothing less than (championship) No. 9,” she added, referring to the program’s best-in-the-nation eight JUCO national titles. “I’m leaving, but I’m going to be a Lady Cardinal for life.”
Lovato led the Lady Cardinals to back-to-back NJCAA national championships in her two years as TVCC’s head coach, guiding the program to a 72-2 record during that time. The most recent championship was TVCC’s third consecutive overall. Lovato was named WBCA junior college coach of the year following the season, which saw her team post a 36-1 record.
Including a stint as head coach at the end of the 2009-2010 season, Lovato has compiled an 81-4 record at TVCC. Her overall career coaching record is 113-8.
“No women’s JUCO coach has had as much success in two years as Coach Lovato, and this type of success results in many great opportunities,” Dr. Forgey said. “Elena has accomplished much during her time at TVCC – with the top accomplishment, of course, being solidifying the Lady Cardinal basketball team as the most prestigious program in the nation demonstrated by an unprecedented ‘three-peat’ – winning national championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014.”