Hana Haden named new GSW Women’s Head Basketball Coach

Published 2:15 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – Georgia Southwestern State University has hired Hana Haden as its new head women’s basketball coach, Director of Athletics Mike Leeder announced Thursday afternoon, April 6.

Haden replaces former GSW head women’s coach Justin Payne, who left to take the head coaching job at Nichols State University in Thibodaux, LA.

Haden comes to Georgia Southwestern from Moberly Area Community College in Moberly, Mo., where she led the women’s basketball program for five seasons. During her tenure at MACC, Haden accumulated an overall record of 118-36 and a Region 16 record of 47-15. The Lady Greyhounds competed in the Region 16 Tournament Championship game in every season under her tutelage. This past year, MACC finished with a record of 29-4 and advanced to the second round of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I National Tournament before losing to #1 ranked South Georgia Technical College by the score of 54-49.

“We are very excited to welcome Hana to the Hurricane family,” Leeder said. “Her demonstrated success as a head coach in leading programs to tremendous success in the classroom, in the community and in the competitive arena made her an ideal fit to build upon the foundation and standards in place with the Lady Hurricanes program.”

Haden has mentored a total of 19 players, including three All-Americans, who have gone on to compete at the four-year level. This includes nine NCAA Division I players, four NCAA Division II players, and five NAIA players. She expects those numbers to increase when this year’s class of seven sophomores sign with their four-year programs.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be the next head women’s basketball coach at Georgia Southwestern State University,” Haden said. “I’m grateful to be a part of the Canes family and the GSW community. I want to thank Mike Leeder and President (Dr. Neal) Weaver for this tremendous opportunity. Their support and vision for athletics, along with the success and foundation laid by Coach Justin Payne, makes this a very exciting time to be at GSW. I look forward to continuing to cut down nets while building championship habits on and off the floor.”

Coach Haden has been named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Thirty Under 30 list four times in her career. She was named the embRACEus Women’s Coach of the Year in 2022 and 2021. She was also the recipient of the 2022 Moberly Area Community College Innovation Award for her More Than a Game Series, which is a personal development program focusing on life skills.

“We are looking forward to Hana continuing to build upon the success that our women’s basketball program has achieved the last two years,” Leeder said. “With her passion to provide an unmatched student-athlete experience we are confident that our upward trajectory will continue.”

In the 2021-22 season, Haden led the Lady Greyhounds to a record of 26-6 and 12-3 in Region 16 play. Haden guided the program to their third consecutive NJCAA National Tournament Appearance after receiving an at-large bid as the 13th seed. MACC was nationally ranked in several statistical categories, including seventh in field goals made per game, eighth in points per game, ninth in total points and steals per game, 11th in fewest turnovers per game, and 12th in offensive rebounds per game.

Haden recruited and coached four All-Region selections in 2021-22. Indya Green was a four-time Region 16 Player of the Week and also an NJCAA Player of the week. She was also named to both WBCA and NJCAA All-America teams after leading the nation in made field goals, fifth in total points, and fourth in offensive rebounds. Green signed with Missouri State University after her freshman season, the fourth consecutive year the Lady Greyhounds sent a player to Division I after their freshman season. McKenna Eddings was named NJCAA All-America Honorable Mention. Jamila Nanskikombi-Gunter was named First Team NJCAA Academic All-American. The Lady Greyhounds also boasted five Missouri Community College Athletic Conference Selections.

In 2020-21, Haden guided the Lady Greyhounds to a record of 18-6 and 10-3 in Region 16 play in a reduced season due to Covid-19. MACC qualified for the National Tournament for the second consecutive season. The Lady Greyhounds finished the season ranked sixth in fewest turnovers per game, 13th in field goals made per game, 14th in points per game, and 15th in total points. Haden recruited and mentored four All-Region honorees. Freshman Nurjei Weems was named NJCAA All-America Honorable Mention before signing to Division I Lamar University.

Haden guided the Lady Greyhounds to a 13-game turnaround in 2019-20, winning 29 games with only four losses, including the last 12 games in a row to end the season. The Lady Greyhounds finished 14-1 in Region 16 before securing the Region 16 Tournament Championship, the Central District Championship, and an automatic bid to the NJCAA National Tournament. Unfortunately, the NJCAA Tournament was canceled this season due to COVID-19. Coach Haden was named MCCA, Region 16, and Central District Coach of the Year. The Lady Greyhounds finished the season ranked fifth in the NJCAA in 3-point percentage, seventh in total points, eighth in fewest turnovers per game, 13th in field goal percentage, and 14th in points per game allowed. This squad featured three All-Region players. DeAnna Wilson was also named an NJCAA All-American and went on to Illinois State University after her freshman season.

In Haden’s first season at the helm in 2018-19, the Lady Greyhounds went 16-16, winning five of their last six games and upsetting Mineral Area College in the semifinals to reach the Region 16 Championship. Haden coached two All-Region players. In the region championship game, Chatori Tyler set the school record with 10 made 3-pointers in a single game.

Prior to MACC, Haden spent the 2017-18 season as Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at NCAA Division I Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. At Lamar, Haden helped the Cardinals to an overall record of 22-8, including the Southland Conference Regular Season Championship with a record of 17-1. The Cardinals also received a berth to the Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament.

Coach Haden spent the 2015-17 seasons at the helm of Harris-Stowe State University. As one of the youngest head coaches in the country at 23 years old, Haden led the Hornets to consecutive 19-win seasons, including a record of 30-17 in American Midwest Conference play. Haden’s guidance resulted in the first winning season for HSSU in 8 seasons and the first back-to-back winning season in 29 seasons. The Hornets also made their first appearance in the AMC Tournament semifinals in 8 seasons. During this time, she recruited and coached five AMC All-Conference selections and one All-American.

Haden got her start in coaching as an assistant coach for former Lady Greyhound coach Katie Vauhn at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She coached under Coach Vaughn in the 2014-15 season.

Coach Hana Haden played two years of Division I basketball at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. Prior to WCU, she played at Region 16 foe Mineral Area College. Haden played high school basketball at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo., before spending her senior season at national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

Fans and media will have an opportunity to meet Coach Haden on May 1 at a time to be announced closer to the event.

Special thanks to Moberly Area Community College Athletics for its contribution to this story.