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Vance happy coaching Lawrence County girls

MONTICELLO — For the first time in several years, the LawrenceCounty Lady Cougar basketball will be under the guidance of a newhead coach.

Jennie Vance was hired by the Lawrence County School District inJuly. She replaces long-time Lady Cougar head coach Archie Ross whoresigned in February. He was elected District 1 supervisor inLawrence County.

“I am truly grateful to be in Lawrence County,” said Vance.

Vance, 30, is a 1992 graduate of Philadelphia High School whereshe lettered in basketball. She received her Bachelor of ArtsDegree from Ole Miss in 1997. While at Ole Miss, she served as abasketball manager under former Lady Rebel and current HoustonRockets head coach Van Chancellor.

In 2003, Vance earned her Masters degree in SportsAdministration from Henderson State (Ark.) University where shealso served as an associate head coach.

Vance has also worked as an assistant coach with the Universityof Houston (1997) and Texas A&M (1998-99). She was the headcoach at North Panola High in Sardis, from 2000 until 2002.

During the 1998 WNBA season, Vance served as the videocoordinator for the WNBA champion Houston Comets. In 2000, sheworked as Chancellor’s personal assistant and team equipmentmanager. She also earned a championship ring with the Comets.

Asked about her offensive and defensive philosophies, Vance saidthey are one in the same.

“Our defense is our offense,” said Vance. “We want to putpressure on the basketball, create turnovers, and score off ofthose turnovers.”

“We will be up-tempo, to take advantage of our team speed andour better offensive players,” added Vance. She has held informalworkouts with the Lady Cougars several evenings during the week.School starts August 3.

Vance said her high school coach (Angie Rials) and Chancellorinfluenced her coaching style.

“I learned a lot from Coach Rials and Coach Chancellor,” saidVance. “Van and Pat Summit, from the University of Tennessee,inspired me a lot on the defensive end.”

The Lady Cougars will work on conditioning and weightlifting,until they begins preseason practice Oct. 4.

“”We need to get stronger and be in better shape than the otherteam,” stated Vance.

The Lady Cougars and Cougars begin the 2004-2005 campaign Nov.1, at Bassfield.