• November 28, 2020

WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Bedell finds right opportunity with Odessa College - Odessa American: Sports

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WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Bedell finds right opportunity with Odessa College

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Posted: Friday, July 17, 2020 7:38 pm

Franqua Bedell was waiting for the right opportunity.

Odessa College provided one.

An assistant coach at Missouri State last season, Bedell was hired this week to take over the Lady Wranglers’ basketball program, a position that opened when former coach Ara Baten took the same position at South Plains College.

Bedell, who guided Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College to the 2018 NJCAA Division I national championship, is happy to be back in the lead role.

“I feel like once you’ve been a head coach, there’s something about running your own program,” he said by phone Friday. “The opportunity to put the puzzle together again and lead my own program is something that I enjoy.

“I love leading, love helping and to be at such a program with the tradition and to be around so many successful coaches is going to be great.”

Bedell spent six seasons at the helm of Tallahassee Community College, finishing with a 124-62 record and the 2018 crown after the Eagles made a late-season run to reach the playoffs and then continued their solid play throughout the tournament.

He was honored as the 2018 NJCAA Tournament Coach of the Year and the 2018 Spalding National Coach of the Year and knows what is expected of him when he steps onto campus this fall.

The Lady Wranglers will not compete in the 2020-21 season, but will return for the 2021-22 campaign, giving Bedell 15 months to get his program in order before taking the court.

“That’s one of the smartest moves I thought they made,” Bedell said of the one-season furlough. “To move the program back because they didn’t have a coach in place or athletes, was one of the reasons that made the job even more appealing.

“I know the commitment to the women’s program the school has and the tradition the program has. I’m not coming in to build it; I’m here to enhance it and take it to another level.”

>> Follow Lee Scheide on Twitter at @OALeeScheide

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