RICHMOND, Va. - VCU Head Women's Basketball Coach Marlene Stollings has announced the hiring of 10-year coaching veteran Franqua "Q" Bedell as an assistant coach.
Bedell joins VCU after spending the previous four seasons as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Southeastern Conference member Mississippi State University, where he helped the Lady Bulldogs to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including the programs' first-ever trip to the Sweet 16 in 2010.
"I am extremely excited about bringing Coach 'Q' Bedell to our program," said Stollings. "He is a proven recruiter who is known for attracting top talent throughout the country. Most recently, he signed back-to-back Top 50 recruiting classes in the highly regarded SEC. Coach 'Q' exudes a tireless work ethic, passion and enthusiasm that is contagious. His skills and personality will be key assets in recruiting, developing our young Rams and being a positive force for VCU. He is a first-rate addition to our program."
While at Mississippi State, Bedell helped develop WNBA draft picks and all-Southeastern Conference performers Chanel Mokango, Armelie Lumanu and Alexis Rack. The Lady Bulldogs compiled two 20-win seasons under his guidance, advanced to two NCAA Tournaments and finished a program-best third in the SEC in 2010. In addition, Bedell's 2010 and 2011 recruiting classes were ranked No. 41 and No. 47 in the nation, respectively. Along with player development, his primary responsibilities included the oversight of academics, camps, community service, scouting, on-floor coaching, scheduling, alumni relations and recruiting.
"Words cannot express how excited I am to be a part of Coach Stollings' staff and the VCU family," added Bedell. "Her reputation across the country is impeccable, her drive is beyond measure, and I knew that VCU was headed down the road of many A-10 championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. She is a visionary and a tremendous mentor who will help shape and mold the lives of everyone around her. There was no way I would miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to help be a part of history in the making."
Known for his relentless recruiting style and tremendous work ethic, Bedell was one of 18 women's basketball assistant coaches selected from across the country to participate in the Achieving Coaching Excellence (ACE) program for minority basketball coaches following the 2010 season.
Prior to his four-year stint in Starkville, Miss., Bedell spent two seasons at Southeastern Illinois College, one as assistant coach and the other as head coach. His first season with the Lady Falcons resulted in a fourth place finish at the NJCAA national tournament and a No. 1 ranking in the final NJCAA polls. The following season, Southeastern Illinois finished as the No. 6 team in the nation after compiling an overall record of 33-4. For his efforts, Bedell was named the Greater River Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Region 24 Coach of the Year and IBCA Coach of the Year in 2008, while two of his student-athletes were named All-Americans.
Bedell's collegiate coaching career began in 2003, where he spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Southeastern Missouri State University. In his two years in Cape Girardeau, Mo., he helped the team to its first Ohio Valley Conference Championship game, a school-best 22 wins and a 14-2 conference mark. He also assisted in the recruitment of the OVC Player of the Year, Tatiana Conceicao.
Bedell spent the 2005-06 season as the head freshman girls basketball coach at Notre Dame High School in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Bedell also served two seasons at Northside High School in Fort Smith, Ark., and two seasons at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.
A native of Fort Smith, Ark., Bedell graduated from the University of the Ozarks in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in general studies. He went on to obtain his master's degree in sports and recreation management from Hardin-Simmons University in 2001.