The Ottawa University women’s basketball program is under new leadership for the first time in more than 20 years.


Ottawa University Director of Athletics Arabie Conner announced Monday the hiring of Tarniesha Scott as the new head women’s basketball coach. She is the 19th coach in program history. She takes over the program from Bruce Tate, who resigned after the 2019-20 season as he takes on more administration responsibilities.


“Coach Scott rose to the top during our search process with her thorough preparation, extraordinary work ethic, and approachability,” Conner said. “Coach Scott has diligently prepared herself to lead our program through each of her coaching moves as her career has progressed. Most recently, she had a great mentor while working under coach [Bo] Browder at Xavier University of Louisiana for the last four years and was entrusted with all aspects of building a first-class program.”


Scott has an overall coaching record of 174-86 and a head coaching record of 42-11. She has coached seven all-conference players and one conference player of the year, coached and recruited an NAIA All-American, coached two conference championship teams, coached one Texas private school state championship team, was the first head coach to take Talladega College to the NAIA National Tournament and helped two other teams reach the NAIA National Tournament.


“I am completely thrilled about this opportunity to lead the women’s basketball program at Ottawa University,” Scott said. “I am grateful to God for putting me in a position to be considered and prepared for such an opportunity. Thank you to the hiring committee and Director of Athletics Arabie Conner for entrusting me with such an important responsibility. I do not take this lightly, and I am ready to continue building on the work that Bruce Tate and so many others have begun. I look forward to working with the great people of Ottawa University to continue inspiring and preparing young adults for their future.”


Before coming to Ottawa, Scott was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Xavier University of Louisiana from 2016 to 2020. In four years, she helped the Gold Nuggets to a record of 70-50, a 2018-19 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) regular-season championship with a conference record of 13-1, and an overall record of 23-8, and a trip to the NAIA Women’s Basketball Division I National Tournament.


“Tarniesha Scott is ready to be a head coach,” Xavier University of Louisiana head women’s basketball coach Bo Browder said. “She's an up-and-coming rising star in our profession. Tarniesha has experience at many levels: NCAA Division I, NAIA and high school. She works hard and has experience starting from the ground level. Tarniesha is big on preparation. No situation is going to surprise her. She is a very good recruiter and communicator. As a coach, she's good at recognizing and making adjustments.”


Prior to working at Xavier, Scott was an assistant women’s basketball coach during the 2014-15 season at Prairie View A&M University. She helped the Panthers finish third in the Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC) with wins over the University of Houston and Sam Houston State University. Scott coached SWAC “Player of the Year” Jeanette Jackson.


Scott spent two seasons as a member of the women’s basketball staff at Talladega College from 2012 to 2014. She was an assistant coach with the program until the final 13 games of the 2013-2014 season, when she was named the interim head coach. Scott led the Tornadoes to a record of 10-3, a GCAC regular season championship, a berth to the NAIA Division I National Tournament, and a final ranking of No. 25 in the NAIA Postseason Women’s Basketball Division I Poll.


“Throughout the interviews, it was clear how easily coach Scott connects with everyone including administration, coaches and players,” Conner said. “Every one of her coaching experiences has been successful in all aspects of the word, most importantly how student-centered she is with her focus on developing young women through relationship building and mentoring. This student-centered philosophy and approach resonated well with all who had the opportunity to get to know her during our process.”


During the 2011-12 season, Scott was a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Texas-Dallas, her alma mater. She played at UTD from 2007 to 2011. Scott lead the American Southwest Conference (ASC) in scoring, averaging 17.4 points per game as a senior. She was a first team All-ASC selection and an honorable mention All-American on teams chosen by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and Women’s D-III News. Scott was three times named Academic All-ASC.


Scott graduated in 2011 from UTD with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She earned her MBA with a concentration in sports entertainment in 2013 from the University of Dallas.


“As I count the years, it’s hard to believe that either coach Tate or I, or both of us together have led the last 25 years of OU women’s basketball,” Conner said. “The decades of players who have been a part of this program are a family. I am beyond thrilled to have found our next leader and am confident the program will be in great hands for the years to come. Now, we’re all here to watch, support and cheer on the next chapter of Braves women’s basketball.”


Scott began her new duties Monday.