On Oct. 24, athletics director Ross Bjork named Brett Frank as the acting head coach of the Ole Miss Lady Rebel basketball program for the 2012-13 season. Just a day later, Frank was with Andy Kennedy in Hoover, Ala., at SEC media days.
While at SEC media days, Frank said something about his team that caught the attention of many people, who felt the Lady Rebels would surely crumble due to the investigation surrounding the firing of former head coach, Adrian Wiggins.
“We all we got, we all we need,” Frank said.
That’s the team’s slogan as they fight through the hard times that have been present since the dismissal of Wiggins.
“It was a situation where obviously we have been through a little bit of adversity,” Wiggins said. “And at the end of the day, that’s something (the players) felt like embodied the team.”
For Frank, becoming the acting head coach of the Lady Rebels meant that in his 17th season of coaching he had become a head coach in the SEC.
“It’s an incredible opportunity,” he said. “You’re coaching in the toughest conference in the U.S. The confidence that Ross Bjork placed in me to lead this program is tremendous.”
Frank, a native of Bokchito, Okla., first coached on the collegiate level in his home state of Oklahoma at his alma mater, Southeastern Oklahoma State University. His first stop at the Division I level was at Fresno State, where he had two stints. His first stint at Fresno State was 2002-04, before he returned to Southeastern Oklahoma State. His most recent stop at Fresno State was from 2007-11, when he was the associate head coach.
“It’s been a 17-year journey,” Frank said. “Each place was different. Each place was unique. Each place was special. Each day as a coach, like your team, you strive to get better every day and to learn something new and apply that. Hopefully, you continue to grow and develop as a coach.”
Each coach has their own style. Some coaches are very involved and do a lot of coaching during a game. Frank feels that most of the coaching he will do will be on the practice court. He feels the game is an opportunity to manage what has been implemented in practice.
For Frank, when he learned that he might end up at Ole Miss, it wasn’t a completely unfamiliar place.
“I actually have a cousin that works at Ole Miss in the music department, and so he has told me what a great community Oxford is,” Frank said. “I’ve always heard great things about Oxford, so I was most excited to see what all the hoopla was about.”
Frank’s initial impression of Oxford reminds him more of his roots in Oklahoma. He feels more at home here in a smaller town than he did in Fresno.
“Oxford has everything you need,” he said. “It has great restaurants, the social life, the entertainment, the livelihood, the music, the arts, the culture. It has everything you need. The people are amazing here. I sure am glad I have this opportunity here.”
Not many are expecting much from the Lady Rebels this season. They were picked last in the coaches poll. The circumstance, certainly, hasn’t helped, but Frank insists the Lady Rebels have moved passed it.
“I will promise this team will play hard,” Frank said. “They’ll play with a great passion. I’m very aware of the legacy and the strong foundation and tradition of Ole Miss women’s basketball. This place, I truly believe, is a gold mine. I think it’s a sleeping giant.”
Brett Frank will begin his career as the Ole Miss women’s basketball coach on Friday at 5:30 p.m. when the Lady Rebels open the 2012-13 season against Southeastern Louisiana in Oxford.