Bedell leaves TCC for Missouri State assistant position
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Since leading the Tallahassee Community College women’s basketball team to a juco national championship last fall, Franqua Bedell’s phone hadn’t stopped ringing with offered to go elsewhere.
He hedged for awhile until he got a call from a longtime acquaintance Amaka Agugua-Hamilton, the new women’s head basketball coach at Missouri State. TCC and Missouri State jointly announced last Wednesday that Bedell will join the Bears staff as an assistant coach.
Bedell left TCC after six seasons, compiling a 124-62 record with the Eagles.
“I’m extremely humbled and honored to be a part of Coach Mox’s staff at Missouri State, and thankful to be coming back home to Springfield,” said Bedell. “MSU is a special place.
“I am excited to continue the wonderful winning tradition and be part of such a great school and community. Coach Mox is one of the up-and-coming coaches in the country. Her ‘FAB’ approach is something I preached at TCC, and my family and I are thankful and excited to join her at MSU.”
Bedell changed the culture of women’s basketball soon after his arrival at TCC. He turned the program that had spent three years of struggling before his arrival into a contender, winning the NJCAA title in 2018.
Bedell, who was named NJCAA coach of the tournament, had also had taken the Eagles to the national tournament in 2017. During his six-year tenure at TCC, Bedell also coached two of his players to NJCAA first-team All-Americans honor.
Bedell’s departure means the TCC men’s and women’s programs will have new head coaches next season. Just a month ago, athletic director Rob Chaney named Zach Settembre coach of the men’s program.
“This is bittersweet,” Chaney said. “Coach Q reshaped the culture of women’s basketball at Tallahassee Community College and has built an elite program, as evidenced by our 2018 national championship.
“At the same time, I’m thrilled to see him receive the opportunity at Missouri State and look forward to watching his career continue on an upward trajectory.”
Chaney said a national search will begin immediately to find Bedell’s replacement.
Last season, Bedell also was named Spalding NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball National Coach of the Year.
Bedell’s extensive coaching career includes a stop at Mississippi State for four seasons. He helped lead the Bulldogs to an appearance in the NCAA Tournament 2010 when they advanced to their first Sweet 16 berth.
Bedell is one of three hires announced last week by Agugua-Hamilton, the first Black head coach in any sport at Missouri State. The other two assistants are Seth Minter and Tori Jankoska.
“I am extremely excited about my staff,” she said of the hires. “All three are great coaches with high character and integrity.
“I am certain they will contribute in multiple areas as they are hard-working, self-motivated individuals with a wealth of knowledge and experience!”