BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Birmingham-Southern Athletic Director Joe Dean, Jr., announced on Friday that Rena Holden has been promoted to Head Women's Basketball Coach after serving the last eight seasons as the programs top assistant coach.
"I would like to thank General Charles Krulak and Joe Dean Jr., for allowing me to present myself for the head coaching position here at Birmingham-Southern," Holden said. "I also would like to thank the faculty and staff, my parents and the players for their support. This is truly an honor to become the Head coach at BSC. I look forward to an exciting experience leading the women's basketball program. As Amelia Earhart said, 'the most effective way to do it, Is to do it'."
"We are thrilled that Rena Holden will take over the leadership role with our women's basketball program," Dean added. "She has been an integral part of our program the past eight years, and has demonstrated an excellent work ethic, recruiting ability, and has the respect of our players and incoming recruits. We look forward to Rena taking our program to a championship level in the years ahead."
During her eight seasons on the Hilltop, the Panthers have won 87 overall games and 33 conference wins that include eight all-conference selections and 44 players named to the conference academic honor. Senior Melanie Short was named First-Team All-Southern Athletic Association and earned Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District this season.
Over the past three seasons, seven panthers have earned all-conference honors and 36 academic honor roll members. BSC has 41 wins that include wins over Emory, East Texas Baptist, Huntingdon, Maryville, and conference power DePauw University.
In its first Division III season in 2007-08, Holden helped guide the Panthers to an impressive 18-7 record with wins over teams such as Louisiana College, Judson College, Spring Hill College, and Emory University, as well as McMurry University and Maryville College to win the Maryville Thanksgiving Classic.
In its first season as a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, BSC defeated every team in the conference at least once, including a 71-58 home victory over No. 11 DePauw University, the 2007 Division III National Champion.
In 2006-07, Holden helped the Panthers to wins over Southern Mississippi as well as Big South Conference rivals Charleston Southern and Winthrop. Two Panthers earned post-season honors as junior Reba Ross landed a spot on the Big South First Team and the Academic All-Conference team, and Marisah Henderson earned All-Freshman honors.
Prior to that, Holden helped guide the 2005-06 team to a 12-16 mark and helped coach three All-Big South Conference players in Stacey Anthony (Second-Team), Ashley Thornton (All-Freshman), and Reba Ross (Academic All-Conference).
Holden joined the Panthers after two years as an assistant for the women's basketball team at the University of Arkansas.
Prior to her stint at Arkansas, Holden served as an assistant coach at West Georgia for seven years. She also filled the role of senior women's administrator from 2002 to 2003. From 1995 to 1996, Holden was a student assistant coach for the women's team at Southeastern Louisiana.
Holden is a 2007 Hall of Fame inductee at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Ga. She received a Bachelor of Arts in health promotion and fitness and physical education in 1996 and her Master's in Education Leadership from Atlantic International University.
Holden replaces Brad Hodge, who resigned at the end of the season after eight years.