In her first season as the Drury Lady Panthers head coach, Amy Eagan had quite the year, leading DU to a 24-2 record, a Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament championship, and an NCAA-II runner-up.
Eagan replaced Molly Miller on April 13, 2020, when she announced she was taking the same position at Grand Canyon University.
Last week, she attended the monthly Rotary luncheon in Lebanon and spoke to KJEL’s Sports Director, Kevin Stubblefield.
“The tradition of the program has been so strong that the following has been consistent,” Eagan stated in an interview with Ke. “With a year like last year, I think it increases that excitement. We will have our fans back in the stand and following us on the road.”
According to the DU Athletics website, Eagan came to Drury after a successful tenure as the head coach at Truman State. In six seasons with the Bulldogs, she became the program's all-time leader in career coaching wins and winning percentage posting a mark of 111-62 (.642). In her final season as head coach at Truman State in 2018-19, she led the Bulldogs to a 23-8 record, a 13-5 record in the GLVC, and an NCAA-II tournament appearance. Eagan served the 2019-20 season as an assistant coach with the program and helped Drury to a 32-0, a 20-0 mark in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, a GLVC tournament championship, and the team was ranked number one nationally from the preseason poll to the final ranking of the year in NCAA-II.
The Lady Panthers graduated six seniors a year ago and will look to replace some big holes on their team.
“With the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility to student-athletes, we have three seniors returning,” said Eagan. “In total, we have seven returners and signed ten new players. I think the kids we brought in have had significant experience at other schools and have some good youth, and we will graduate a big class after this year.”
One of the seniors that Drury said goodbye to was former Lebanon standout Kelsey Winfrey who averaged 6.2 PPG and 3.6 RPG.
“I wish we could have got her (Kelsey) back for another year, but she had already applied for her post-graduate degree,” Eagan said of Winfrey. “Kelsey is a kid who is going to be very hard to replace. You talk about a kid who works hard day in and day out.
“Every day, she brought energy, and on top of that, I don’t know if you can find a better person. She took care of business on and off the floor, and she would do anything for her teammates.”
Drury will open their season at the D2CCA Tipoff Classic at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 29, in Canyon, Texas.
Editor’s note: Kevin Stubblefield of KJEL gave the Record permission to quote his interview.